Andy Murray’s participation in the Australian Open has been thrown into doubt after a positive COVID-19 test has put his participation in the Grand Slam in jeopardy. “I had to withdraw because I wanted to minimise the risk, but I am very disappointed,” he said.
If Murray had the virus and then recovered, he should be able to go anywhere he wants, but the announcement at the Australian Open makes that unlikely. It is hard for Murray to make it to Australia without the support of Tennis Australia and the Australian Tennis Federation (ATF), the country’s governing body.
A statement from the Australian Open on Thursday said all players wanted to play in the tournament. Tennis Australia has set up charter plans in six different cities that will bring all Australian Open entrants into the country and begin preparations for the first qualifying round in Melbourne.
Should Murray make it to the Australian Open, he will play his last professional match in Melbourne. It just underlines that getting him into a slot for the Australian Open, which has already been delayed by three weeks, is a huge undertaking.
ITV News understands Murray, who is said to be in good health, is hoping to arrive in Australia at a later date to compete in the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, which starts in Melbourne on February 8. Murray – who says he is in ‘good health’ – hopes to arrive in Australia at a ‘later date’ and hopes to be ready to compete by the end of the month, rather than early February.
Murray and his team have worked closely with tournament director Craig Tiley to find an acceptable solution that would allow him to compete in the Grand Slam. Murray is one of the world’s most popular tennis players and a major participant in the Australian Open. If he is unable to play in the Australian Open this year, it would be a huge loss to the Melbourne crowd.