Tennis: Murray turns down NZ opportunity

Andy Murray has turned down the opportunity to play at next week's Heineken Open with New Zealand No 1 Rubin Statham handed the final wildcard instead. Photo / Getty Images.
Andy Murray has turned down the opportunity to play at next week's Heineken Open with New Zealand No 1 Rubin Statham handed the final wildcard instead. Photo / Getty Images.

Andy Murray has turned down the opportunity to play at next week's Heineken Open with New Zealand No 1 Rubin Statham handed the final wildcard instead.

Tournament director Karl Budge offered Murray a chance to play in Auckland after the world No 4 was ousted early from this week's Qatar Open. It had been Murray's first tournament since back surgery in September.

Budge had hoped Murray might want some match practice ahead of the upcoming Australian Open but Murray has opted to head to Melbourne to prepare instead.

Statham will play in his fourth Heineken Open,all as a wildcard, with his best result a second-round appearance after a win over fellow Kiwi Dan King-Turner.

Former world No 8 Marcos Baghdatis and rising American Jack Sock have been handed the other two wildcard spots for the tournament that starts on Monday.

- APNZ

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