Andy Murray makes surprise clay move as he joins two other Slam winners at ATP Challenger Tour event
The BNP Paribas Primrose Bordeaux has received an unexpected boost as it will have a star-studded field featuring Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem.
The trio have all struggled for form recently and will be using the ATP Challenger Tour event, which runs from May 14-20 at Villa Primrose, to get some much-needed game time on clay ahead of the French Open.
Murray’s entry, in particular, came as a surprise as he is also due to compete at this week’s Madrid Open as well as the Italian Open, which gets underway on May 8.
The former world No 1 has endured a nightmare run over the past month as he lost in the opening round of the Miami Open and Monte-Carlo Masters and he currently sits at No 52 in the ATP Rankings.
Following his exit in Monte Carlo, there were question marks over whether or not he would play at Roland Garros, but the fact that he has entered Madrid, Rome and now Bordeaux suggests he will feature in Paris.
“I was feeling good and I’d actually been moving pretty well in practice, so I was optimistic,” Murray said after the loss in the Principality. “But it was pretty demoralising and I’ve not felt like that many times in my career on the court. It was really tough.”
Fellow three-time major champion Wawrinka has also suffered a dip after initially showing promise earlier in the year following his injury woes. He reached back-to-back quarter-finals in Rotterdam and Montepellier, but then made early exits in Monte Carlo and Banja Luka.
2020 US Open champion Thiem reached the quarter-final in Estoril and Munich, but he is still far away from recapturing the form that saw him reach the 2018 and 2019 Roland Garros finals.
But it’s not just the three Grand Slam winners that will be part of the impressive field as British No 2 Dan Evans (currently ranked No 24) will also be among 28 players in the top 100 of the ATP Rankings that will play.
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Other top 100 players include world No 43 Richard Gasquet, world No 65 Jan-Lennard Struff and world No 68 Luca van Assche, who upset Wawrinka in Banja Luca last week.
Former champion and former world No 7 Gael Monfils, who has slumped to No 322 following lengthy spells on the sidelines due to injury, will also be in the main draw.
“I am very happy to return to play the BNP Paribas Primrose Tournament, 10 years after my title here. It is a tournament that progresses every year. See you soon on the courts of Villa Primrose,” the Frenchman said.
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