Andy Murray doubt for Australian Open after testing positive for Covid
Andy Murray is in danger of missing yet another major tournament after it emerged this morning that he tested positive for Covid-19 a few days ago and is self-isolating in his home.
His management agency are in touch with Tennis Australia and he has not given up hope of competing in the Australian Open when it starts on Feb 8. But he will clearly not be able to join the main series of charter flights, and would have to try to negotiate a late arrival.
At the moment, Murray is not believed to be suffering any unpleasant symptoms from the disease.
While no-one can ever say for sure how they contracted the virus, there must be a strong chance that Murray was infected at the National Tennis Centre in south-west London. A number of British players have been training there – after all, it is the only available place to play – and the Telegraph understands that Paul Jubb, the British No 14, tested positive at the end of last week.
The Lawn Tennis Association carried out a tracing operation and told all the players who had been staying overnight at the NTC (which Jubb also was) to isolate for ten days.
Having missed so much tennis in the three-and-a-half years since his hip blew up, Murray will surely be deeply frustrated at this latest setback. Judging by the recent Battle of the Brits event at the NTC – where he beat both British No 1 Dan Evans and No 3 Cameron Norrie – he had just seemed to be regaining some form after a series of after-effects from the insertion of his metal hip early in 2019.
One possible chink of light – from the perspective of Murray’s Australian Open chances – is that the American player Tennys Sandgren was revealed this morning to have travelled to Melbourne despite testing positive for Covid-19.
The explanation was that Sandgren had first tested positive in November and thus was not considered to be an infection risk any more.
Murray will hope to convince Tennis Australia that he will also be able to travel safely to Melbourne before the tournament starts. Even if he succeeds, though, there can be virtually no chance that he will be able to play a build-up event. His preparation would be sub-optimal, to put it mildly.