Murray heads back to Challenger Tour
PARIS (Agencies): Former world number one Andy Murray is set to compete in his first Challenger Tour event in 14 years at the Rafa Nadal Open in Manacor, Spain, next week. The 32-year-old Murray has confirmed he will skip playing doubles at the US Open to focus on his singles game at the second-tier hard court event in Spain and to build up his confidence.
After undergoing hip surgery in January following his first round exit from the Australian Open, Murray began easing his way back by playing doubles, starting at Queen’s in June. However, he opted to drop doubles and focus on a return to singles earlier this month and was beaten in straight sets by Richard Gasquet in Cincinnati. He then lost to American Tennys Sandgren in the first round of the Winston-Salem Open.
The three-time Grand Slam champion has now decided to step down to the second tier for the first time since 2005, when he played in the Challenger event in Mons as an 18-year-old. Other players taking part in Spain include Mischa Zverev who shocked Murray in the fourth round of the 2017 Australian Open. Lukas Rosol will also be taking part. In 2012, Nadal was handed a shock second-round defeat at Wimbledon by the Czech journeyman. Another player featuring is Sergiy Stakhovsky who knocked Roger Federer out of Wimbledon in 2013. Nadal, of course, will not be playing as he will be chasing a fourth US Open title in New York.