Murray, Kokkinakis Headline Australian Open Wild Cards
“We welcome Andy back to Melbourne with open arms,” Tournament Director Craig Tiley said in a press release. “As a five-time finalist he has been an integral part of so many amazing matches and storylines in the recent history of the Australian Open.”
Murray is tied for fifth in the Open Era with 48 Australian Open match wins (Agassi and Lendl also have 48). The 33-year-old is set to compete at the season’s first Grand Slam for the first time since 2019. After losing an emotional, thrilling five-setter against Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round that year, Murray underwent hip surgery.
Most Australian Open Wins (Open Era)
|1) Roger Federer||102-15|
|2) Novak Djokovic||75-8|
|3) Rafael Nadal||65-14|
|4) Stefan Edberg||56-10|
|T5) Andre Agassi||48-5|
The former World No. 1 is one of seven players to receive a main draw wild card for the tournament, which will be held from 8-21 February. The Aussies who have been awarded a main draw wild card are Alex Bolt, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Christopher O’Connell, Marc Polmans and Aleksandar Vucic. Indian Sumit Nagal was given the tournament’s Asia-Pacific wild card.
Kokkinakis has struggled with injury, but he has produced sensational tennis when healthy, including a win against Roger Federer at the 2018 Miami Open presented by Itau. The 24-year-old first cracked the Top 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings aged 19 in 2015.
Bolt, a 27-year-old lefty, has played some of his best tennis at the Australian Open. In 2019, he reached the third round. Last year, Bolt pushed eventual finalist Dominic Thiem to five sets in the second round.
There is still one main draw wild card and one qualifying wild card to be confirmed. Men’s qualifying for the 2021 Australian Open will be played from 10-13 January in Doha.