It has been assumed that Andy Murray would be playing the US Open on a protected ranking basis but that is not the case as the USTA have now awarded him a wildcard into the event due to start on August 31.
He played with all of them, played with every single kid. Because it’s Dunblane where he started it’s so powerful. It made a lot of people very happy; people couldn’t believe it – what an experience for them. Mark Walker
It has been revealed that the former word number one, currently ranked 129, narrowly missed the cut-off for direct entry.
The 33-year-old Briton won the first of his three Grand Slam titles at the 2012 US Open, becoming the first British male to win a major since Fred Perry in 1936.
Murray received the news while visiting a tennis summer camp in Dunblane, his hometown, in what was a surprise visit, even for the coach Mark Walker who was teaching a group of 6-14-year-olds.
He told The Courier: “It was totally unexpected. I didn’t know he was coming. The kids just couldn’t believe it.
“The best thing was they didn’t know he was coming and then when he came down and started speaking to me, I still don’t think they knew who I was speaking to.
“He just walked down the hill with his tennis racket!”
Murray then started putting them through their paces.
Mark said: “He played with all of them, played with every single kid. Because it’s Dunblane where he started it’s so powerful.
“It made a lot of people very happy; people couldn’t believe it – what an experience for them.”
Other wildcards announced on Thursday included Kim Clijsters and a series of American players, namely Usue Arconada, CiCi Bellis, Francesca Di Lorenzo, Caroline Dolehide, Ann Li, Robin Montgomery and Whitney Osuigwe in the women’s draw and in the men’s, Ulises Blanch, Maxime Cressy, Sebastian Korda, Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, Michael Mmoh, Brandon Nakashima and JJ Wolf.
Clisters, who is currently unranked, hopes to emulate her success at the 2009 US Open when she won it as a wildcard after returning from her first retirement having become a mother. A three-time US Open champion, she will be playing at Flushing Meadows for the first time since her second retirement in 2012.