Qatar Open news: Andy Murray handed tough draw as comeback continues

Andy Murray in action

Andy Murray may have been handed a wildcard for the ATP 250 Qatar Open, but he won’t have an easy run into the latter stages.

Murray looked good in his opening round win over Alexander Bublik in Rotterdam before being beaten by in-form Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime.

The former World No 1 won’t have to worry about Auger-Aliassime, who will be at the Open 13 in France, rather than in Qatar, however, Murray does have a big name looming large.

Murray will face Japanese journeyman Taro Daniel in the first round but should he win that, the tournament’s second seed awaits him in the second round.

World No 17 Roberto Bautista Agut is that second seed, who enjoys a bye through the first round of the tournament.

Murray could potentially face compatriot Dan Evans in the quarterfinals if he can string back-to-back wins together.

When it comes to semi-final opponents, it is tough to call with the likes of Karen Khachanov, David Goffin and Marin Cilic lurking in the other section of Murray’s half of the draw.

Cilic will also have a bye through to the second round.

Over on the opposite end of the draw first seed Denis Shapovalov will at least comfort himself with the knowledge that he won’t be dumped out in the first round in Qatar.

Shapovalov was stunned by Czech qualifier Jiri Lehecka in Rotterdam, with the youngster going on to reach the last four.

Canada’s No 1 will no doubt be looking to bounce back and will face either Slovak Alex Molcan or Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic in that second round.

Georgian tour veteran and defending Qatar Open champion Nikoloz Basilashvili is seeded third and will get a bye through to the second round as well.

Seventh seed Bublik will face a qualifier, to be determined by the preliminary matches this weekend.

Eighth-seeded South African Lloyd Harris is well placed for a run into the latter stages of the draw with few prominent players in his section of the Qatar Open draw.