British No. 1 Andy Murray will be returning to the competitive tennis for the first time since the September Great Britain Davis Cup tie, when he meets Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in an exhibition tournament next week in Abu Dhabi. The news was revealed by the Mubadala World Tennis Championship organizers, who said that that the world no. 4 would play at the hard court event alongside top stars Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
The 26-year-old has been sidelined since September, when a lingering back injury required minor surgery, and has not competed in a professional contest since the Great Britain Davis Cup tie against Croatia. Playing in Umag, the British team worked their way back into the World Group for the first time since 2008 with a 4-1 victory over Croatia.
Murray, who recently won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, revealed that his back is getting much better and that he is looking forward to testing it in actual competition.
“The back is getting much better,” Murray told BBC Sport. “It’s hard to know how it will respond in a match but the signs have been good and the 10 to 15 days I put in before a match will be key as I’ll be testing my body in lots of practice matches.”
Murray is scheduled to meet Tsonga on Thursday, December 26, with the winner facing World no. 2 Novak Djokovic the following day.