Andy Murray set for tough test against Yoshihito Nishioka in US Open first round
Andy Murray will take on rising Japanese player Yoshihito Nishioka in the first round of the US Open after being given a wild card in New York.
The 2012 champion is set to play in his first grand slam event since his opening-round defeat to Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut at the Australian Open in January 2019, after which he underwent an operation to resurface his hip.
Murray, currently ranked 134 in the world, made a brief comeback towards the end of last year and won the European Open in October before further injury problems blighted his campaign.
The 33-year-old returned to action last week at the Western & Southern Open, held at Flushing Meadows, claiming victories over American Frances Tiafoe and world number seven Alexander Zverev – his first top-10 win in three years – before falling to Milos Raonic in the last 16.
If Murray prevails against Nishioka, he could face 15th seed Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Kyle Edmund has been drawn against Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik, with the possibility of a difficult second round against top seed Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic will take on Damir Dzumhur in his opening-round match. The Bosnian has faced Djokovic twice in his career, and has yet to take a set off the world number one, with their last meeting coming in 2019.
Britain’s Dan Evans is seeded 23rd for the tournament and was drawn against young Brazilian Thiago Seyboth Wild, with an outside chance of meeting fellow countryman Murray in the third round.
Cameron Norrie is in the same half of the draw as Edmund and will face ninth seed Argentinian Diego Schwartzman in the first round.
In the women’s draw, top seed Karolina Pliskova will take on Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina.
Johanna Konta, seeded ninth in New York, will be involved in an all-British tie with Heather Watson in the first round.
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Serena Williams, who is seeded third and chasing a 24th grand slam singles title to match the all-time record of Margaret Court, will start her campaign against fellow American Kristie Ahn.
A host of players will be missing from the US Open as they have decided not to travel due to the risks of coronavirus.
Defending men’s champion Rafael Nadal, reigning women’s champion Bianca Andreescu, women’s world number one and two Ashleigh Barty and Simona Halep and Australian Nick Kyrgios are among the high-profile names to withdraw.
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