Sir Andy Murray will return to the court next week at a third ‘Battle of the Brits’ tournament, which is being staged under Australian Open conditions. Heather Watson and Dan Evans will also take part in the event staged jointly by Murray’s brother Jamie and the Lawn Tennis Association between Sunday and Wednesday. The National Tennis Centre in Roehampton will again play host to the four-day tournament, which will feature 16 male and female players in a 30-match league format that will see each of them in action at least once. The matches will take place on the same surface used at the Australian Open, which begins on January 18 in Melbourne. Jamie Murray said: “All the players were keen to get the chance to test themselves before the season begins. “It’s been such an unusual year, with so many disruptions that any competitive tennis people can get is welcome. “Even in pre-season, nobody likes to lose to their friends, so we’re expecting some tight matches.” LTA chief executive Scott Lloyd welcomed the initiative as focus turns towards the 2021 Australian Open. “We want to do all we can to help British players prepare for the season ahead,” he said. “Despite being indoors, the matches will be on a similar type of court surface as at Melbourne and using the same balls to try and replicate conditions in Australia as closely as we can. “Hopefully, the players will make the most of the opportunity to get some competitive matches under their belt.” The Battle of the Brits concept was created after the end of the first national coronavirus lockdown. In August’s last event, Andy Murray partnered Naomi Broady to victory in the doubles, before Joe Salisbury teamed up with Dart to defeat Jamie Murray and Watson and secure a 63-56 overall win for the British Bulldogs against the Union Jacks. Former world number one Andy Murray, now ranked 122, lost to Stan Wawrinka in the first round of the French Open in September before being beaten in the opening round of October’s Cologne indoor event by Fernando Verdasco.



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