Andy Murray faces France's Benoit Paire in tough Queen's opener

Murray has won Queen's a record five times, and the 34-year-old Scot will be playing his first singles tournament since March.

Andy Murray will be playing his first singles tournament since March.   -  REUTERS

Former world number one Andy Murray has been given a tough draw as he bids to get match-fit for Wimbledon with a first-round clash against France's terrible Benoit Paire at key warm-up tournament Queen's.

Murray has won Queen's a record five times, and the 34-year-old Scot will be playing his first singles tournament since March. It gets underway on Monday.

The two-time Wimbledon champion suffered a groin injury ahead of the Miami Open in March and pulled out of the French Open after experiencing further discomfort.

Paire will be a tough first-round opponent for Murray, who was given a wild card entry, though how much of a challenge may depend on what mood the Frenchman is in.

Paire, with his outspoken behaviour, has upset the authorities to such an extent that in April, the French Tennis Federation has barred him from the Tokyo Olympics.

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Should Murray beat him, he is likely to play top seed Italy's Matteo Berrettini in the second round.

Murray enjoyed a rousing return to Queen's two years ago after hip surgery, winning the doubles with Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez.

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However, injuries have dogged him since then. He has only played three tour-level singles matches since October. He practised with leading players in Rome last month and also featured in two doubles contests.

Wimbledon, the third grand slam of the year, gets underway at the All England Club in London on June 28.

Murray, who last won Wimbledon in 2016, has been hampered by fitness issues and hasn't reached the second week of a grand slam since 2017.

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