Andy Murray’s hopes of achieving a seeding at the US Open received a big boost when it was announced he had received a wildcard into the main draw of the Rogers Cup in Montreal.
Joining Murray in receiving wildcards were Belgian David Goffin and Canadians Vasek Pospisil and Alexis Galarneau.
Three-time Montreal champion Murray has risen back into the top 50 in the world rankings this year after finals in Sydney and Stuttgart.
Murray is out to improve his ranking enough to be among the 32 seeds at the fourth Grand Slam of the year.
After defeat to Mikael Ymer, many have taken to writing Murray off on hard courts but he still has hope.
“It’s still possible,” Murray said. “I would just need to have a good run in Canada or Cincinnati really. It’s pretty straightforward if I was to make a quarter-final or a semi-final, which right now — after a loss like that — doesn’t seem realistic.
“I do feel like if I play very well that I could do that. But I’ll need to certainly play better than I did today.”
Murray has delivered a mixed bag this season, with enough for the optimists to be hopeful of a bright future for the former World No 1 while the cynics still can’t see a way back for the bionic Scot.
The tournament has seen the official withdrawal of Novak Djokovic this week as it was confirmed that he won’t be allowed to enter Canada.
Novak Djokovic’s agony needs to end and a US Open verdict needs to be delivered
Montreal Masters tournament director Eugene Lepierre had said he did not expect Djokovic to play when quizzed earlier this month.
“Either the Canadian government is going to change the rules regarding vaccination or he is going to roll up his sleeves and get the vaccine. But I don’t think any of those scenarios are realistic,” Lepierre said.
German Oscar Otte has also pulled out of the tournament with Benjamin Bonzi of France and Australia’s Wimbledon runner-up Nick Kyrgios handed spots in the main draw in Montreal.
Kyrgios didn’t get any rankings points for his Wimbledon exploits and like Murray can pose a grave threat to seeded players in early rounds on the US Open swing.
This was highlighted by Russian No 2 Andrey Rublev who feared meeting one of the two early in Washington as the top seed.
“I really like playing here, there is a great atmosphere.
“This is a great tennis club in general, with the typical American style.
“Many spectators come to the matches and stay until the end of the session.
“They put on a good show and we tennis players like it a lot.
“In terms of sports entertainment, the United States is the best.
“Not just in tennis but in any other sport.
“I hope I can do a good job and start this tour in America with a win.
“It’s a tournament that counts on great players.
“I didn’t see the complete list of athletes at the starting line but I remember that even at the bottom of the list there were top-level tennis players, including Nick Kyrgios and Andy Murray.”