• AFP-JIJI

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Former men’s world No. 1 Andy Murray has been given a wild card for the Australian Open, organizers announced on Thursday while praising him for his “fighting spirit.”

The 34-year-old is ranked 134th as he battles to recover consistently good form after persistent injury problems.

He recorded two top-10 triumphs toward the end of last season, beating Wimbledon semifinalist Hubert Hurkacz and Italy’s Jannik Sinner.

Murray also looked good while beating compatriot Dan Evans and former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal in an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi last week.

“Andy is renowned for his fighting spirit, passion and love of the game and I’m delighted to welcome him back to Melbourne in January,” Australian Open CEO Craig Tiley tweeted.

Murray has won three Grand Slam titles — winning Wimbledon twice in 2013 and 2016 and the 2016 US Open — but the Australian Open crown has eluded him despite reaching the final five times.

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