Three-time Grand Slam champion and former No. 1 Andy Murray has been awarded a wild card into the 2022 Australian Open, the tournament announced Thursday.

“Andy is renowned for his fighting spirit, passion and love of the game and I’m delighted to welcome him back to Melbourne in January,” said Craig Tiley, the CEO of Tennis Australia and Tournament Director for the Australian Open.

“I’m really excited to be back playing at the Australian Open and grateful to Craig and the team for the opportunity,” Murray commented.

“I’ve had some great times in Australia playing in front of the amazing crowds and I can’t wait to step back out on court at Melbourne Park.”

The Australian Open has been one of Murray’s most successful majors, though he’s still seeking his first title there—he’s been to the final five times, finishing runner-up once to Roger Federer (2010) and four times to Novak Djokovic (2011, 2013, 2015, 2016).

Meanwhile he’s 3-3 in finals at the other three majors combined, going 2-1 in Wimbledon finals, 1-1 in US Open finals and 0-1 in Roland Garros finals.

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Murray has a 48-13 career record at the Australian Open. His best stretch there came from 2010 to 2016, going 39-7 in those seven years.

Murray has a 48-13 career record at the Australian Open. His best stretch there came from 2010 to 2016, going 39-7 in those seven years.

A former No. 1, Murray missed 11 months between 2017 and 2018 due to a hip injury and has spent the last few years trying to work his way back up the rankings.

And if the end of his 2021 season is anything to go by, 2022 could be very good for him—Murray rose from No. 172 to No. 134 in the last five weeks of the season alone, a stretch highlighted by reaching the quarterfinals of Stockholm, as well as recording his first two Top 10 wins of the year against Hubert Hurkacz and Jannik Sinner.

At last week's exhibition event in Abu Dhabi, Murray made the final—beating No. 6-ranked Rafael Nadal en route—before falling to No. 5-ranked Andrey Rublev.

With a strong performance in Australia, the Scot could break back into the Top 100 for the first time since he returned to the tour from his first hip surgery in 2018.

Murray isn’t the only wild card the Australian Open has announced already. Also among the recipients are Aussie women Samantha Stosur and Daria Saville.

Stosur is a former No. 4 in singles, winning the US Open in 2011, but she’s currently ranked No. 381 in that discipline—in recent years she’s found more success in doubles, winning the 2019 Australian Open and 2021 US Open with China’s Zhang Shuai. She’s currently ranked No. 16 on the WTA doubles rankings.

Saville, who changed her name from Gavrilova after marrying fellow Australian player Luke Saville this year, is a former No. 20 who’s currently ranked No. 419 after struggles with foot injuries over the last few years.