Andy Murray says he is surprised to be playing at Indian Wells without the ‘Big 3’ of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic participating.

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Federer and Nadal are out for the remainder of the year with respective knee and foot injuries, while Djokovic opted to skip the event after an emotional loss to Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final.

Murray has struggled with hip issues in the last few years and this is the first time he’s playing at Indian Wells since 2017

He admitted didn’t expect to be the only ‘Big 4’ representative in Californian desert this year.

Before Murray faded in recent years -he’s currently down at No 121 in the ATP rankings – he was often added in the conversation with pundits referring to the ‘Big 4’

Compared to the top trio’s 20 Grand Slams apiece, Murray has won only three major titles, but he is the only player outside the ‘Big 3’ to end a year at the top of the ATP rankings, achieving the feat 2016. He also boasts 14 Masters 1000 titles to his name – fifth on the all-time leaderboard.

“It’s unfortunate with Rafa and Roger being injured, and I think Novak, probably rightfully, is taking a break after the run that he’s had this year and just missing out at the US Open,” Murray told reporters before his Indian Wells campaign.

“But I’m happy myself to be here. It’s a shame for the tournament that they (Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic) are not here,” he added. “Certainly a couple of years ago, I wouldn’t have expected to be the only one playing.”

Murray noted that with the top trio getting older they would be skipping more and more events.

Murray starts his Indian Wells campaign against 51st-ranked Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.

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Picture: Andy Murray – ATP Challenger Tour/Twitter