Sport Two-time champion Andy Murray awarded Wimbledon wild card

14:45  16 june  2021
14:45  16 june  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Andy Murray, Venus Williams, Katie Boulter are posing for a picture: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Andy Murray has been handed a Wimbledon wild card into the men's singles main draw as he continues his return from injury.

The two-time winner, whose world ranking of 124 does not guarantee him automatic entry, has not played singles at the All England Club since 2017 when he was knocked out in the quarter-finals after the emergence of a hip issue which has blighted his career ever since.

He played doubles two years ago but will now play in the singles after Wimbledon confirmed their initial wild card picks on Wednesday, with Venus Williams and Katie Boulter notable beneficiaries of wild cards for the ladies' singles main draw.

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Andy Murray hitting a ball with a racket © Provided by Daily Mail Andy Murray standing in front of a crowd: Murray, who won the title back in 2013 & 2016, will play singles for the first time in four years © Provided by Daily Mail Murray, who won the title back in 2013 & 2016, will play singles for the first time in four years

Murray, 34, made a winning start to his grass-court campaign on Tuesday and was visibly emotional after beating Benoit Paire at Queen's.

Meanwhile Williams, 40, is a five-time champion at SW19, last winning the title back in 2008.

Boulter is also returning from a period of absence due to injury, but has a career-high ranking of 82 from 2019.

Other wild card picks for the women's singles include up-and-coming British players Francesca Jones, Jodie Burrage and Harriet Dart, as well as 33-year-old Samantha Murray Sharan.

For the men, 18-year-old Jack Draper is rewarded for his good form - which includes a win against World No 23 Jannik Sinner at Queen's this week - with a wild card, in what will be his first appearance in the main draw.

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Brits Liam Broady and Jay Clarke will also automatically enter the main draw, as will 18-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, who is the youngest player in the top-100 at No 78.

The AELTC confirmed that three more wild cards will be announced in due course on the men's singles side, while the two spare spots for the ladies' singles will not be used, and instead the next direct entry via world ranking will be accepted.

Wimbledon kicks off on July 28, returning after last year's event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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