Wimbledon chiefs may extend wildcard deadline for Andy Murray
LONDON – Wimbledon chiefs have suggested they may extend the deadline for Andy Murray to apply for a wildcard to compete at this year’s championships as the two-time winner battles to regain fitness.
The British former world number one, currently ranked 218th in the world, is recovering from hip surgery, and has yet to set a date for a potential return.
Murray, Wimbledon champion in 2013 and 2016, has an official deadline of June 18 to apply for a wildcard for this year’s event, which begins on July 1.
If he is fit enough, the 31-year-old Scot could use his protected ranking to enter the tournament, but he might apply for a wildcard in order to use that ranking for future events.
“There have been no discussions with Andy yet,” said All England Club chairman Philip Brook on Tuesday.
“It’s too soon to know the answer to that one.
“Should he wish to apply, he would do so in the normal way. We have a scheduled meeting on June 18 ahead of the championships to decide on wildcards.
“We have a process which applies to all players.”
As to whether that deadline could be extended for Murray, chief executive Richard Lewis said: “If Andy came forward with a strong case, I am sure we would work with him.”
Murray has not played competitively since the Australian Open in January, where he lost in five sets to Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round.
He said before the tournament that he planned to retire after this year’s Wimbledon, but also revealed the Australian Open could prove to be his last event.
Murray had a hip resurfacing operation in London in late January, and says he is now pain-free, although he has only been hitting balls from a stationary position so far.
At its spring press conference, the All England Club also announced an 11.8 percent increase in prize money for 2019.
The men’s and women’s singles champions will each receive £2.35 million, an increase of £100 000 on last year.AFP