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Australian Open 2021: England’s Murray doubtful following positive coronavirus test

Five-time finalist went into self-isolation at his London residence

SAMAA | - Posted: Jan 15, 2021 | Last Updated: 1 month ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Jan 15, 2021 | Last Updated: 1 month ago
Australian Open 2021: England’s Murray doubtful following positive coronavirus test

Photo: AFP

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England tennis player Andy Murray's participation in this year's Australian Open is in doubt after he tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The former world number one was due to travel to Melbourne on one of a series of charter flights laid on by tournament organisers, but revealed on Thursday he was diagnosed with the pathogen. He is isolating at home in London, casting major doubt over whether he will be able to play the opening Grand Slam of the year. Britain's Press Association news agency said the three-time major winner, apparently in good health, was hoping to arrive in Australia at a later date. However, the Australian health officials vowed Friday there will be no preferential treatment for five-time finalist Andy Murray and must return a negative Covid-19 test if he wants to play the competition. Victorian state health minister Martin Foley also said the Scotsman won't be getting any special favours. Related: Strict quarantine awaits world’s top tennis stars in Australian Open 2021 "In regards to Mr. Murray, we've been clear from the start that anyone who tests positive is not able to be part of the programme coming into Melbourne and Australia," he told reporters. "Mr. Murray, and the other 1,240 people as part of the program, need to demonstrate that if they're coming to Melbourne they have returned a negative test. So should Mr. Murray arrive, and I have no indication that he will, he will be subject to those same rigorous arrangements as everyone else. Should he test positive prior to his attempts to come to Australia, he will be refused." Murray was handed a wildcard to the Open, hoping to make his first appearance in Melbourne since 2019, when he revealed the extent of a right hip problem and raised the possibility of imminent retirement. Strict quarantine More than 1,200 players and support staff have begun arriving for 14 days' quarantine ahead of the delayed tournament, which is due to start on February 8. They are being greeted by biosecurity officials wearing personal protective equipment, before being whisked away to hotel quarantine. Players are only allowed into the country with proof of a negative test prior to departure, or with approval as a recovered case at the Australian government's discretion. That rule applied to American world number 50 Tennys Sandgren, who was permitted onto a flight from Los Angeles Thursday despite tweeting that he tested positive this week. It was his second positive result, having been diagnosed with Covid-19 in November. "Mr. Sandgren is not infectious. His infection is historical," said Foley. "So, he's met the rigorous health criteria that has been set." The tournament has already lost some key players, with Roger Federer out injured and world number 25 John Isner opting not to travel due to the coronavirus restrictions. In another blow, American world number 16 Madison Keys said she too had tested positive and would not play. Meanwhile, world number three Dominic Thiem arrived without coach Nicolas Massu, who has also tested positive, and Spanish superstar Rafael Nadal is missing his coach Carlos Moya who has decided not to make the trip. Follow Samaa Sports on Facebook and Twitter
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England tennis player Andy Murray’s participation in this year’s Australian Open is in doubt after he tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The former world number one was due to travel to Melbourne on one of a series of charter flights laid on by tournament organisers, but revealed on Thursday he was diagnosed with the pathogen.

He is isolating at home in London, casting major doubt over whether he will be able to play the opening Grand Slam of the year.

Britain’s Press Association news agency said the three-time major winner, apparently in good health, was hoping to arrive in Australia at a later date.

However, the Australian health officials vowed Friday there will be no preferential treatment for five-time finalist Andy Murray and must return a negative Covid-19 test if he wants to play the competition.

Victorian state health minister Martin Foley also said the Scotsman won’t be getting any special favours.

Related: Strict quarantine awaits world’s top tennis stars in Australian Open 2021

“In regards to Mr. Murray, we’ve been clear from the start that anyone who tests positive is not able to be part of the programme coming into Melbourne and Australia,” he told reporters. “Mr. Murray, and the other 1,240 people as part of the program, need to demonstrate that if they’re coming to Melbourne they have returned a negative test. So should Mr. Murray arrive, and I have no indication that he will, he will be subject to those same rigorous arrangements as everyone else. Should he test positive prior to his attempts to come to Australia, he will be refused.”

Murray was handed a wildcard to the Open, hoping to make his first appearance in Melbourne since 2019, when he revealed the extent of a right hip problem and raised the possibility of imminent retirement.

Strict quarantine

More than 1,200 players and support staff have begun arriving for 14 days’ quarantine ahead of the delayed tournament, which is due to start on February 8.

They are being greeted by biosecurity officials wearing personal protective equipment, before being whisked away to hotel quarantine.

Players are only allowed into the country with proof of a negative test prior to departure, or with approval as a recovered case at the Australian government’s discretion.

That rule applied to American world number 50 Tennys Sandgren, who was permitted onto a flight from Los Angeles Thursday despite tweeting that he tested positive this week.

It was his second positive result, having been diagnosed with Covid-19 in November.

“Mr. Sandgren is not infectious. His infection is historical,” said Foley. “So, he’s met the rigorous health criteria that has been set.”

The tournament has already lost some key players, with Roger Federer out injured and world number 25 John Isner opting not to travel due to the coronavirus restrictions.

In another blow, American world number 16 Madison Keys said she too had tested positive and would not play.

Meanwhile, world number three Dominic Thiem arrived without coach Nicolas Massu, who has also tested positive, and Spanish superstar Rafael Nadal is missing his coach Carlos Moya who has decided not to make the trip.

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