'This is unfair': Tennis world divided over Andy Murray announcement

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Andy Murray, pictured here speaking to the media at the Madrid Open.
Andy Murray speaks to the media at the Madrid Open. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)

Andy Murray has performed a staggering backflip on his decision to skip the entire clay-court season and has accepted a wildcard into the Madrid Open.

The 34-year-old, who has been training in Florida with coach Ivan Lendl, had initially planned to skip the entirety of the clay-court swing in order to minimise the wear and tear on his body ahead of the grass-court season and Wimbledon.

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However he has since changed his plans and on Wednesday announced that he'll be playing the Madrid Open, starting next week.

The three-time grand slam champion could also feature at the Italian Open starting May 3, however he is unlikely to play the French Open.

The Scottish star, who has battled back from career-saving hip surgery, previously said clay had exacerbated injury issues in the past and almost caused him to miss Wimbledon last year.

“Right now I am not planning on playing through the clay," he said in February.

“The past couple of years, the clay has made issues worse.

"Last year I had some issues at the beginning of the year, the clay didn’t help, so I’ve spoken to my team about that and this year, while I feel good and healthy, I don’t want to take that risk.

“It’s not that I wouldn’t potentially play on clay in the future. Last year I almost missed Wimbledon, was close to not playing the grass season, I’m not planning on playing the clay.

"I will still try to compete a bit during that period, I won’t do nothing, that’s my plan just now.

“I had a busy end of last year and the next couple of months I won’t take any risks and hopefully get a good build-up to the grass season.”

Andy Murray, pictured here waving to the crowd after losing to Daniil Medvedev at the Miami Open.
Andy Murray waves to the crowd after losing to Daniil Medvedev at the Miami Open. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)

Tennis world stunned by Andy Murray backflip

However he has reportedly been practising on clay in recent weeks and feeling comfortable.

The 34-year-old has only played the French Open once since 2017, losing to Stan Wawrinka in the first round in 2020.

Now ranked 83rd in the world, Murray has lost in the second round in his last six tournaments - including to World No.2 Daniil Medvedev at the Miami Open last month.

He recently reunited with coach Lendl, with whom he won all three of his grand slam titles, for the third time.

Murray had been searching for a new coach after splitting from Jamie Delgado - who is now working with Denis Shapovalov - in December.

Tennis fans were left stunned by Murray's backflip and excited to see him in Madrid.

However some questioned why he was taking a wildcard spot away from another player if he doesn't intend to play at Roland Garros.

with agencies

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