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No Federer and Possibly More to Come, but Miami Open Lands Murray with a Wild Card

Andy Murray has accepted a wild card into this month’s Miami Open. EPA-EFE/JASON SZENES

By Ricky Dimon

The Miami Open is happening in 2021 and it got a big boost to its player field when Andy Murray accepted a wild card earlier this week. Murray has not played this Masters 1000 event since 2016–and nobody played it last year because it was one of the first casualties of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is exciting to see Andy back in Miami,” said tournament director James Blake. “As someone who has had to battle back from injury during his career, I understand and respect all the hard work Andy has put in to get back on tour.”

Murray began to deal with hip problems in 2017 and 2018 before missing most of 2019 in the aftermath of surgery. He was sidelined at the start of 2020, eventually returning when tennis resumed following a five-month Covid-19 hiatus. Murray played four tournaments last season, winning three matches–including over Alexander Zverev at the Cincinnati Masters and in five sets against Yoshihito Nishioka at the U.S. Open.

The 33-year-old withdrew from this year’s Australian Open because of a positive Covid-19 test. He owns a 5-3 match record so far in 2021, Challenger events included.

Murray is a two-time champion of the Miami Open, having triumphed in 2009 and 2013. He also reached the final in 2012 and 2015.

Joining Murray with main-draw wild cards are Carlos Alcaraz, Michael Mmoh, Hugo Gaston, and Jack Draper.

Ana Konjuh of Croatia has received a wild card into the Miami Open. EPA/IAN LANGSDON

On the women’s side, Anna Kalinskaya, Ana Konjuh, Storm Sanders, Katrina Scott, Mayar Sherif, Xiyu Wang, and Xinyu Wang have wild cards into the field of 96.

Roger Federer and fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka are among those who have already withdrawn from Miami. With Indian Wells not happening, players may be reluctant to travel to the United States just for one Masters 1000 tournament instead of the normal two. For now, however, Miami’s entry list remains strong.

MEN’S MAIN DRAW WILDCARDS
Carlos Alcaraz
Jack Draper
Hugo Gaston
Michael Mmoh
Andy Murray

WOMEN’S MAIN DRAW WILDCARDS
Anna Kalinskaya
Ana Konjuh
Storm Sanders
Katrina Scott
Mayar Sharif
Xiyu Wang
Xinyu Wang

MEN’S QUALIFYING WILDCARDS
Ulises Blanch
Christopher Eubanks
Toby Kodat
Shintaro Mochizuki
Emilio Nava

WOMEN’S QUALIFYING WILDCARDS
Hailey Baptiste
Olga Danilovic
Alexandra Eala
Linda Fruhvirtova
Robin Montgomery
Whitney Osuigwe

Ricky contributes to10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.