Tennis star Andy Murray has been given a wildcard into the 2020 French Open at Roland Garros. The 33-year-old is not automatically qualified after he had fallen down to 110th in the world after undergoing a major hip resurfacing surgery after the Australian Open in 2019.

Murray has slowly worked his way back up to competitive form after initially thinking that his career might be over after suffering from a nagging hip injury. He competed in the US Open earlier this month and only reached the second round. However, he is slowly gaining confidence and his match fitness is steadily improving. With numerous players pulling out of tournaments this year due to the difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic, it is easy to see why the French Open organisers would be willing to hand Murray a wildcard entry.

With sports suffering massive losses due to the restrictions on live audiences and ticket sales, having big names present at any event will be good for the overall welfare of the sport. The US Open was staged without the presence of both men's and women's singles defending champions. Rafael Nadal and Bianca Andreescu both cited health and safety concerns and opted against travelling to New York for the event.

Roger Federer decided to undergo a knee surgery during the lockdown and is still recovering. Numerous other top players in both the men's and women's draw were absent.

Murray is a winner of three Grand Slams and was a French Open finalist in 2016. He has not played in Roland Garros since 2017 and his presence this year will be beneficial for the event. According to the BBC, he will be coming in cold without any competitive action on clay courts. After playing in the US Open, Murray opted out of the Italian Open which is taking place this week. Nevertheless, he will have some time to prepare ahead of French Open which starts on September 27. Rafael Nadal is expected to defend his title this year, and will be going for a 13th trophy at Roland Garros.

Andy Murray
Andy Murray has said he would discontinue doubles to focus on returning to peak singles form GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Rob Carr