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    Friday, June 22, 2018

    Nature Valley International: Andy Murray Accepts Wildcard to Play

    Britain's Andy Murray has accepted a wildcard into Eastbourne as he continues his comeback after almost a year out with a hip injury.
    Murray, 31, made his competitive return on Tuesday at Queen's, where he lost in three sets to Nick Kyrgios.

    The three-time Grand Slam champion said afterwards he was unsure of the best way to continue his return.
    "It was good to get back to competition at Queen's and I'm hoping to build on that next week," said the Scot.
    The Nature Valley International at Eastbourne is the final warm-up event before Wimbledon begins on 2 July.

    Former world number one Murray had surgery on his right hip in January and has since fallen to 156th in the world rankings.
    He was on court for two hours and 39 minutes against Kyrgios and saved two match points before slipping to defeat.
    "I'm looking forward to getting some more time on the grass courts at Eastbourne," Murray said.
    "I played Davis Cup there in 2010 and I know the courts and facilities there are excellent."

    Swiss former world number three Stan Wawrinka , another three-time Slam champion, has also taken a wildcard into the event as he continues his own return from injury.
    British number one Kyle Edmund is set to play the event, alongside Canada's Denis Shapovalov and 2017 Queen's champion Feliciano Lopez.
    Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki is the top seed in the women's event, which also features Britons Johanna Konta and Heather Watson.

    Analysis
    Russell Fuller, BBC tennis correspondent:
    Murray could have opted to play in one of the traditional eve of Wimbledon exhibition events, but clearly feels it is important to experience the heat of competition once more.

    The field in Eastbourne is considerably weaker than it has been at The Queen's Club this week. Kyle Edmund and Diego Schwartzman are the only top 20 players in the line-up, but all the players who received direct entry were inside the world's top 60 and Stan Wawrinka has accepted a wildcard.

    Murray reported some stiffness in his lower back during his two hours and 39 minutes on court against Nick Kyrgios. He also suggested he could play Eastbourne, but not Wimbledon, if he feels five-set matches would be detrimental to his recovery.
    He will hope to have the answer after a few days on the south coast.

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