Andy Murray given Sydney wildcard before Australian Open

Andy Murray watches the ATP Cup in Sydney
Andy Murray arrived in Sydney this week, watching his British colleagues – including older brother Jamie – play in the ATP Cup on Thursday

Britain’s former world number one Andy Murray will continue his Australian Open preparations by playing a warm-up event in Sydney for the first time.

Murray, 34, has been given a wildcard for the Sydney Tennis Classic, an ATP 250 event which starts on Monday and also features compatriot Dan Evans.+

Murray lost his opening match of 2022 to world number 76 Facundo Bagnis in the Melbourne Summer Series on Tuesday.

The Australian Open, where Murray is also a wildcard, starts on 17 January.

The Scot, a five-time runner-up at Melbourne Park, is ranked 134th in the world as he continues to rebuild his career after major hip surgery in January 2019.

The operation left the three-time Grand Slam champion announcing at the 2019 Australian Open he feared he would have to retire.

Murray returned to singles action later that year but his progress has been stalled by a series of injuries and the coronavirus pandemic.

The Sydney event also features a WTA 500 tournament which includes Britain’s US Open champion Emma Raducanu.

The 19-year-old is among 19 of the world’s top 30 playing in Sydney, with fellow Grand Slam champions Ash Barty, Garbine Muguruza, Barbora Krejcikova, Simona Halep and Iga Swiatek in the field.