Andy Murray Gets Wildcard Entry to Miami Open: 'I Want to Get Back Playing a Sport I Love'
The British tennis star last played in the Miami Open in 2016, before undergoing hip surgery and taking time off the court
Andy Murray is going to Miami.
The 33-year-old British tennis star will get a wildcard entry to the 2021 Miami Open, which starts March 24 and runs through April 4 in Florida.
Murray tells PEOPLE he's ready to "win matches" after falling to Andrey Rublev at the Rotterdam Open earlier this month.
"It's a city I love, and I've spent a lot of time here over the last 15 years, I feel comfortable," Murray says of Miami. "But over the next few months, I want to play matches — especially against the top players — work on my game and climb the rankings. I want to get back playing a sport I love."
Murray last competed in the Miami Open, which will be held at the Hard Rock Stadium, in 2016, and previously won the tournament in both 2009 and 2013.
In 2019, the dad of four underwent hip resurfacing surgery and only played in four singles tournaments last year as his recovery continued following bone bruising near the site of his operation. The 2020 ATP Tour was also impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The last few years has been really hard," Murray admits to PEOPLE. "After the operation, there were no guarantees I would play again, but I've been working very hard on my conditioning and over the last few months I've felt the best I have for years. I'll need to be mindful of my schedule moving forward but I'm excited to be back competing — with a metal hip."
The "uncertainty," he says has been the most difficult aspect of his recovery. Facing "plenty of setbacks" on his journey back to the circuit this year, Murray says, "I just had to refocus for every step and to keep believing."
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Murray — who, throughout his career, has won 46 career ATP singles titles — says he's "really enjoying being back on the tour and competing" overall, and knows it "will just take time to find some rhythm and get my confidence back."
"But every match feels like progress and I'm learning from each one," he tells PEOPLE.
The Miami Open is open to a limited number of fans this year. Fans can find ticket availability at MiamiOpen.com, or catch all the action from home, live on Tennis Channel. Check your local listings for details.
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