Tuesday November 30, 2021

Murray faces France’s enfant terrible Paire in tough Queen’s opener

June 13, 2021

LONDON: Former world number one Andy Murray has been given a tough draw as he bids to get match-fit for Wimbledon with a first round clash against France’s enfant terrible Benoit Paire at key warm-up tournament Queen’s.

Murray has won Queen’s a record five times and the 34-year-old Scot will be playing his first singles tournament since March.

It gets underway on Monday.

The two-time Wimbledon champion suffered a groin injury ahead of the Miami Open in March and pulled out of the French Open after experiencing further discomfort.

Paire will be a tough first round opponent for Murray, who was given a wild card entry, though how much of a challenge may depend on what mood the Frenchman is in.

Paire has upset the authorities to such an extent with his outspoken behaviour that in April the French Tennis Federation took the extraordinary step of barring him from the Tokyo Olympics.

Should Murray beat him he is likely to play top seed Italy’s Matteo Berrettini in the second round.

Murray enjoyed a rousing return to Queen’s two years ago after hip surgery winning the doubles with Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez. However, injuries have dogged him since then.