Andy Murray holding out hope of return to tour at Miami Open

MIAMI — Andy Murray is holding out hope of being able to return to competition at the Miami Open in a few weeks, barring a setback.

The three-time major champion and former No. 1 hasn’t played a match since the Davis Cup Finals in November. He said last month he might need yet another surgery related to the hip problems that already have led to two procedures.

In an interview clip released Thursday on Twitter by Amazon Prime Video, with whom he made a documentary about his return from two hip operations, Murray said he’s “training to try and get ready for Miami.”

Murray said he went through a three-month period during which he only hit tennis balls twice, for about 40 minutes each time.

“I’ve done so much rehab these last few months that, in terms of, like, my strength and everything, all of the muscles around the hip are working well,” he said. “It’s just, I hadn’t played tennis.”

Men’s singles main-draw play at the Miami Open starts March 25.

Murray was chosen the ATP’s 2019 comeback player of the year after returning to the tour and winning titles in singles and doubles despite thinking in January he would need to retire.

The 32-year-old Scotsman had hip surgery in 2018 and 2019.

Murray won the U.S Open in 2012 and Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016. He also has won singles gold medals at the past two Summer Olympics.

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NASCAR makes first of many expected changes to 2021 schedule

NASCAR will hit the road for its first race in 2021, part of a schedule shakeup that starts at Daytona International Speedway.

The track announced several changes to the start of the annual racing season Wednesday. They include running the exhibition Busch Clash on the 3.56-mile road course that winds through the Daytona infield and packing seven races as well as Daytona 500 pole qualifying into a six-day span.

The tweaks eliminate two traditional “dark days” at the track during Speedweeks and should provide a better fan experience leading into NASCAR’s premier event, the Daytona 500.

“This has been in the works with NASCAR for a while,” track President Chip Wile told The Associated Press. “We really want to continue to evolve. Obviously, there’s a ton of fan interest around road-course racing. We’ve had a road course here since 1959 and we feel like what better way to showcase the property and differentiate that race even more from the Daytona 500 than running the road course under the lights?”

NASCAR teams have pushed for a shorter season for years, arguing that the 12-week off-season is too short given how little downtime there is during the racing calendar.

The sanctioning body is expected to make significant changes to its 2021 schedule, which could include more short tracks, mid-week races and double-headers. Overhauling Speedweeks is the first of what’s expected to be many new looks ahead.

The week will shape up like this: the Clash will run Tuesday night, Feb. 9, followed the next day by Daytona 500 pole qualifying that sets the front row for “The Great American Race.” Qualifying races that set the rest of the field, called the “Duels,” will remain a Thursday staple and be run under the lights for the eighth consecutive year.

The Trucks Series season

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