Andy Murray is off to Spain next week to compete in the inaugural Gijon Open after accepting a wildcard entry into the ATP 250 tournament.
It will be the former world No 1’s first ATP singles event since his third-round exit from the US Open in early September, although he did play a singles rubber for Team Europe during the Laver Cup a fortnight ago.
Murray no doubt has his mind set on picking up as many ranking points as possible between now and next year’s Australian Open.
After starting the 2022 campaign outside the top 100 in the ATP Rankings, the 35-year-old has climbed back up to No 46.
A couple of good runs during the final few months of the year could well see him start the season-opening Grand Slam at Melbourne Park as one of the top 32 seeds and result in a favourable draw.
The Gijon Open will also give him another chance to work on his fitness ahead of the 2023 season as he admitted after his Laver Cup defeat at the hands of Alex de Minaur that he “ran out of steam”.
“I felt very tired at the end of the match. I think like emotionally the last few days, I don’t know exactly why, because it’s not me that’s finishing playing,” he said.
The British No 3 added: “Just ran out of a bit of steam at the end, and they were trying to encourage me to try and, you know, sort of increase my energy levels and stuff at the end of the set, and I did try in the end of the second, but I was tired.”
The three-time Grand Slam winner has also struggled with cramping during various stages this season and admitted that it was “big concern” as he even changed his training schedule in an attempt to solve the problem, but he is yet to get to the bottom of it as he also had problems against De Minaur.
Murray will join top seed Andrey Rublev as well as Spanish quartet Pablo Carreno Busta, Roberto Bautista Agut, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Albert Ramos Vinolas in the main draw on the indoor hard courts of Palacio de Deportes.
Former US Open champion Dominic Thiem will also feature after he used his protected ranking to get into the main draw. The Austrian is still nursing his way back following a lengthy absence due to injury.
The Gijon Open main draw will start on Monday, October 10.