Past U.S. Open champions Kim Clijsters and Andy Murray received wild cards into this year’s event, marking their returns from retirement and injury, respectively, to Grand Slam tennis.
Clijsters, a 37-year-old Belgian, will play the U.S. Open for the first time since her second retirement in 2012. She won the tournament in 2005, 2009 and 2010. The Open starts Aug. 31 without fans.
Clijsters announced her comeback last September and returned to competition earlier this year, losing her two matches to Jo Konta and Garbine Muguruza before the coronavirus pandemic halted sports. She recently was more successful in World Team Tennis events, beating Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin.
Murray, the 33-year-old, two-time Olympic champion from Great Britain, will play his first Grand Slam since the 2019 Australian Open. In Melbourne last year, Murray tearfully spoke about the possible end of his career due to a hip injury.
But he returned last summer after a career-saving operation and won a lower-level tour event in October. A pelvic injury then set him back, and he was unable to play the 2020 Australian Open.
Murray, the 2012 U.S. Open champion, is ranked No. 129 and was one spot out of direct entry into the U.S. Open when entries were first published Tuesday.
Murray, Novak Djokovic and Marin Cilic are the only men in the current U.S. Open field who own Grand Slam singles titles. Rafael Nadal (travel concerns) and Roger Federer (injury) are both not playing a Slam main draw for the first time since the 1999 U.S. Open.
U.S. Open men’s wild cards: Andy Murray, Ulises Blanch, Maxime Cressy, Sebastian Korda, Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, Michael Mmoh, Brandon Nakashima and JJ Wolf.
U.S. Open women’s wild cards: Kim Clijsters, Usue Arconada, CiCi Bellis, Francesca Di Lorenzo, Caroline Dolehide, Ann Li, Robin Montgomery and Whitney Osuigwe.
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