Sunderland Echo

Murray’s Australian Open appearance in real doubt

- By Eleanor Crooks

Andy Murray’s participat­ion at the Australian Open is in doubt after he tested positive for coronaviru­s.

The former world number one was due to travel to Australia on one of the charter flights laid on by tournament organisers, but is still isolating at home.

It is understood that Murray, who is said to be in good health, is hoping to be able to arrive in Australia at a later date and participat­e in the year’s first grand slam, which begins on February 8 in Melbourne. Murray and his team are working closely with tournament director Craig Tiley to try to come up with an acceptable solution.

Tournament organisers spent several months negotiatin­g an arrangemen­t that was acceptable to local and national government agencies regarding the admission of more than 1,000 tennis players and associated personnel to Australia.

A statement from the Australian Open did not appear to offer Murray too much hope, saying: “Andy Murray has advised that he has tested positive to Covid-19 and is isolating at home in the UK.

“Unfortunat­ely, this means he will be unable to join the official AO charter flights arriving in Australia in the coming days to go through the quarantine period with the other players.

“The AO fans love Andy, and we know how much he loves competing here in Melbourne and how hard he’d worked for this opportunit­y.”

Players began arriving in the country yesterday ahead of a two-week period of quarantine, during which they are allowed out of their rooms to practise for five hours a day.

They were told that a positive test prior to flying would mean they were not allowed to travel to Australia.

Murray has been given a wild card for the tournament and is hoping to make his first appearance in Melbourne since the emotional events of 2019, when he revealed the extent of his right hip problems and raised the possibilit­y of imminent retirement.

A resurfacin­g operation shortly afterwards allowed him to resume his career that summer but he has experience­d several setbacks since, the most recent an issue with his left psoas muscle, which connects the spine to the femur. He spoke positively about his fitness in November and last month played two matches at the most recent Battle of the Brits event, beating Dan Evans and Cameron Norrie.

 ??  ?? Andy Murray.
Andy Murray.

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