Andy Murray will return to the Australian Open next month, three years after playing what he feared would be the final match of his career.
The 34-year-old has accepted a wild card for the tournament as he looks to extend a record which has seen him finish runner-up in Melbourne five times.
Murray lost to Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round in 2019, shortly after revealing he was set to undergo hip surgery.
After the match, before which he was shown a courtside montage of leading players paying tribute to his career, Murray said: “It’s an amazing place to play tennis. If it was my last match, it was an amazing way to end.”
Murray withdrew from the tournament in 2020 and earlier this year he also had to pull out at the last minute after testing positive for coronavirus.
However Murray has continued to battle back towards the top 100, most notably in pushing Stefanos Tsitsipas to five sets in a US Open first-round defeat in September.
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said: “As a five-time finalist, Andy Murray has had so many memorable moments at the Australian Open
“He’s renowned for his fighting spirit, passion and love of the game and I’m delighted to welcome him back in Melbourne in January. His heroic exploits have made him a firm fan favourite here at Melbourne Park.”