Andy Murray gets Cinccinati boost, but handed tricky opener against old foe with Cameron Norrie also lurking
There is good news and bad news for Andy Murray ahead of the Western & Southern Open as he won’t have to play in the qualifiers to reach in the main draw, but said draw has turned out to be difficult.
Murray was scheduled to play in the qualies against Taro Daniel – the man who beat him in the second round of the Australian Open at the start of the year – on Saturday, but he was the first alternate for the main draw and he later moved up after one of the special exemption spots opened up.
OUT: SE spot
IN: Murray (will play against Wawrinka)
— Entry List Updates (@EntryLists) August 13, 2022
But that was where the good news ended for the former world No 1 as he will face fellow three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka in the first round after landing in Section 3 in the bottom half.
Swiss Wawrinka, who is still nursing his way back following a long injury lay-off, is in the main draw after using his protected ranking.
The winner of the Murray-Wawrinka encounter will face either ninth seed Cameron Norrie or Holger Rune in the second round while fifth seed Casper Ruud could be a third-round opponent, and some of these online sportsbooks are already eager for the potential eye-watering chance for Murray vs Norrie.
Both Murray and Wawrinka made early exits from the Canadian Open this week with the former suffering a straight-set defeat at the hands of 10th seed Taylor Fritz while Wawrinka was beaten in three sets by Emil Ruusuvuori.
Currently ranked No 47 in the ATP Rankings, Murray had high hopes of being seeded for the final Grand Slam of the Year – the US Open at Flushing Meadows – but he will need to reach at least the final of the ATP Masters 1000 event and pick up a minimum of 600 points if he is to surge up the rankings.
Third seed Carlos Alcaraz is the headline action in the section alongside Canadian Open semi-finalist Ruud.
ATP rankings history to be made as race for year-end No 1 heats up
For the first time in history, two Spaniards will top the ATP rankings when the updated numbers are released on Monday.
Florida-based Kei Nishikori confirms safety and plans to get back on tour
Kei Nishikori is safe and sound amid Hurricane Ian destruction.
Race to Turin: Stefanos Tsitsipas becomes fourth man to qualify
Stefanos Tsitsipas joins Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz and Casper Ruud in the Turin field.
Novak Djokovic downs ‘good friend’ Vasek Pospisil to reach Tel Aviv semi-finals
Djokovic came through a competitive contest 7-6 (5) 6-3 in Israel.
What Nick Kyrgios needs to do to compete on the ATP Tour
Greg Rusedski believes Nick Kyrgios would be better off focusing on things that he can control, like his own fitness.
Huge weekend ahead for padel as Andy Murray’s former coach gives us his verdict
The relentless rise of padel continues and…
Will Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner share a generational rivalry?
Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner just keep having banger after banger after banger.
Novak Djokovic cruises to victory on return to ATP Tour
Novak Djokovic blew past Spain’s Pablo Andujar 6-0, 6-3 on Thursday evening.
Juan Martin del Potro details heartbreaking injury struggles
Juan Martin del Potro continues to struggle with mobility issues post-retirement.
Iga Swiatek irritated by WTA Tour finals scheduling clash
An ‘irritated’ Iga Swiatek has bone to pick with the ITF and the WTA.