Tennis-Murray 'deserves' French Open wildcard, says tournament director Forget

Tennis - ATP Masters 1000 - Italian Open - Foro Italico, Rome, Italy - May 12, 2021 Great Britain's Andy Murray during training REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

(Reuters) - Andy Murray has entered the qualifying rounds for the French Open later this month but tournament director Guy Forget said the former world number one "deserves" a wildcard spot for the claycourt Grand Slam.

Three-times Grand Slam champion Murray has fallen to 123rd in the world rankings after long injury lay-offs because of hip surgeries but Forget said the Scot, a Roland Garros finalist in 2016, could probably beat "half of the people in the main draw".

Wildcard spots for the May 30-June 13 tournament have not been handed out yet, while the qualifying rounds begin on May 24.

"I know that Andy entered the qualifying (rounds), I know he's practising right now in Rome, I saw him play some games and sets with Novak Djokovic," Forget told reporters.

"Andy is a great player, he sure deserves one (a wildcard). It is a discussion we have to have with him and our team. We want to see him in good shape, I hope he feels well.

"He hasn't played any matches yet, which is obviously what any player wants to do before committing to a big tournament, especially when you are going to play the best-of-five sets."

Murray, 33, missed out on the Australian Open due to quarantine protocols after contracting the novel coronavirus and has played only eight matches this year after a groin injury ruled him out of the Miami Open in March.

Murray is playing in the Italian Open but only entered the doubles competition where he is paired with fellow Briton Liam Broady.

"It's the French Open's decision what they want to do," Murray told the BBC.

"I'd love the opportunity to play there but I also respect they have lots of good players, lots of players ranked between 120 and 160. I haven't been fit for the last three or four months."

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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