London, December 27: Former world no 1 Andy Murray has been awarded a wildcard for the 2021 Australian Open. This will be the first time Murray will play in Melbourne since the 2019 event, where he said he was considering retiring from the sport after he tournament due to a chronic hip pain.

"We welcome Andy back to Melbourne with open arms," tournament director Craig Tiley was quoted as saying by BBC Sport. "His retirement was an emotional moment and seeing him come back, having undergone major surgery and built himself back up to get on to the tour again, will be a highlight of AO 2021." Roger Federer Withdraws From Australian Open 2021.

Murray lost in five sets to Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round of the 2019 Australian Open after which the organisers had even played a video montage in tribute to his career featuring fellow tennis stars bidding him farewell. Eventually, however, he reversed his decision to retire.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 28, 2020 08:47 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website