Andy Murray kick starts final farewell with early injury return ahead of Wimbledon

Andy Murray – Andy Murray kick starts final farewell with early injury return ahead of Wimbledon
Andy Murray has been given a wildcard entry at the Geneva Open - Getty Images/Al Bello

Andy Murray has initiated the final sequence of his career by taking a wild card into the Geneva Open, a 250-point event which starts in just under a fortnight’s time.

The tournament announced Murray’s entry this morning, soothing fears that his summer might be torpedoed by the serious ankle injury which he suffered in Miami on March 24.

Although the Geneva field features one top-ten player in Casper Ruud, this is a low-key event by ATP Tour standards. It takes place in the week before the French Open, when most players prefer not to exert themselves too much.

For Murray, however, match practice will be a must after a two-month lay-off necessitated by the ligaments he ruptured while turning his ankle in Miami.

Murray wore a protective boot on the joint for a couple of weeks, and then resumed training late last month as he built towards these final few events.

He has already explained that he plans to finish his garlanded career this summer. In the aftermath of the match against Tomas Machac, he said that “I am looking forward to the end now, give my best the next few months and get to be at home with my family.”

Like most British players – who grow up training on fast indoor courts – Murray has never been particularly enamoured of clay as a surface, and his anticipated visit to Paris for the French Open feels more like a gesture of farewell than a serious tilt at the title.

Yet his talent is such that he reached the final there in 2016, defeating defending champion Stan Wawrinka in the semi-finals before going down to Novak Djokovic in four sets.

Even at this late stage of his career, Murray will still feel that he can be competitive on grass – his favourite surface – as long as his ankle is able to handle the slickness of the courts at Queen’s and Wimbledon.

But Wimbledon may not be the final stop for Murray, as he loves the Olympic Games and is the only singles player to defend an Olympic title.

It was reported last week that Murray hopes to enter the Olympic doubles tournament – which, like the French Open, will be staged on the clay of Roland Garros in south-west Paris – with Joe Salisbury.

Murray may also look to play the French Open doubles with his old friend Dan Evans - although this is likely to prove complicated as both men’s rankings have dropped outside the world’s top 50 in recent weeks. They could end up needing a wild card from the French Tennis Federation, which may or may not be forthcoming.

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