Australian Open hints Murray won't be allowed to play in Melbourne after positive COVID-19 test

By Sports Desk January 14, 2021

The Australian Open has hinted Andy Murray will not be able to compete in Melbourne following his positive test for coronavirus.

Murray, a five-time finalist at the Australian Open, remains in good health and is isolating at home.

The three-time grand slam winner is still hoping to play and travel to Australia later than planned.

However, a statement from the tournament cast serious doubt on his involvement, with Murray – ranked 123rd in the world – having initially been granted a wildcard to play.

The statement read: "Andy Murray has advised that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is isolating at home in the UK.

"Unfortunately, this means that 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."

The first grand slam of the year is starting three weeks later than it normally would on February 8 due to the complications of players flying into Australia amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Tournament organisers are putting on 15 chartered flights, which will operate at 25 per cent capacity, to bring players to the tournament.

Before boarding, competitors must test negative and will undergo a series of tests once in the country, while undergoing a 14-day quarantine period in Melbourne.

It was after a first-round defeat at the Australian Open two years ago that Murray stated his career might be over due to an ongoing hip injury.

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    The 33-year-old claimed his first ATP Tour victory in six months on Monday, winning 2-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 over fellow wildcard Robin Haase in just under two and a half hours at the Rotterdam Open.

    The past few years for Murray, who missed last month's Australian Open after testing positive to COVID-19, have seen him battle hip issues, before getting a metal cap inserted to strengthen the area.

    Since then, the Scot been unable to reach the levels that previously saw him win major titles and be world number one, leading to constant calls for him to retire, particularly on social media.

    "Actually, I deleted it, I don't have Twitter on my phone and I deleted Instagram last week, not because of that [the retirement comments]," Murray said.

    "You see those things on Instagram and social media if you're on it, obviously and if you have the app on your phone but I'd watched a while ago that Social Dilemma movie.

    "I thought it was brilliant and then actually, a couple of days after my match last week I watched an interview with all the people that were responsible for making that and I was like, 'Yeah, I’m done'. I deleted that off my phone but yes, it's tough."

    Murray admitted his return from his injury battles had been physically taxing, while the mental toll had not been easy to handle either.

    However, he felt he performed well enough to offer him no genuine reason to want to retire from the Tour.

    "Since I came back and started playing with the metal hip, I’ve beaten some pretty good players," he said.

    "I beat Stan [Wawrinka], I beat [Matteo] Berrettini, I beat [Alex] Zverev. I served for the match against [Fabio] Fognini. These are top players that I was playing against and competing well against and physically now I'm in a better place than I was then.

    "I've put in a lot of good physical work since then so why should I stop because I lost a match last week against someone [Egor Gerasimov] that people would expect me to win against.

    "Everyone out there can play and because I'm not on the top of my game just now, and once I get there I believe I'll win matches more competitively.

    "Why should I stop? Tell me a good reason for why I should stop playing. I can still compete with the best players in the world with one hip. I think that's quite amusing really."

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    Murray, who was dumped out in the first round of last week's Open Sud de France, hit 33 winners on his way to a 2-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 triumph – his first tour-level victory since the 2020 US Open.  

    The Scot got off to a slow start and found himself 4-1 down in the first set, with home favourite Haase comfortably seeing things out from there in the opener.  

    Murray needed a tie-break to take the second set before finding himself 3-0 down in the decider. However, he put together a stunning six-game run to claim a fifth career victory over Haas in six meetings.

    Next up will be either number four seed Andrey Rublev or qualifier Marcos Giron in the second round. 

    Elsewhere, Kei Nishikori ended a run of four straight defeats with a 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 victory over seventh seed Felix Auger-Aliassime to set up a clash against Alex de Minaur or John Millman.  

    "It was a very tight game, he was serving great especially in the first set and he won a lot on first serve," Nishikori said. "I played solidly in the tie-break and served well on the last couple of points. It was easier in the second set, with his injury, but I was more comfortable and striking the ball better." 

    Murray's compatriot Cameron Norrie, meanwhile, cruised past Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-0 6-3 and will play Stan Wawrinka or Karen Khachanov in the next round. 

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    Andy Murray produced a stirring comeback in the final set to overcome fellow wildcard Robin Haase at the Rotterdam Open on Monday.  

    Murray, who was dumped out in the first round of last week's Open Sud de France, hit 33 winners on his way to a 2-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 triumph – his first tour-level victory since the 2020 US Open.  

    The Scot got off to a slow start and found himself 4-1 down in the first set, with home favourite Haase comfortably seeing things out from there in the opener.  

    Murray needed a tie-break to take the second set before finding himself 3-0 down in the decider. However, he put together a stunning six-game run to claim a fifth career victory over Haas in six meetings.

    Next up will be either number four seed Andrey Rublev or qualifier Marcos Giron in the second round. 

    Elsewhere, Kei Nishikori ended a run of four straight defeats with a 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 victory over seventh seed Felix Auger-Aliassime to set up a clash against Alex de Minaur or John Millman.  

    "It was a very tight game, he was serving great especially in the first set and he won a lot on first serve," Nishikori said. "I played solidly in the tie-break and served well on the last couple of points. It was easier in the second set, with his injury, but I was more comfortable and striking the ball better." 

    Murray's compatriot Cameron Norrie, meanwhile, cruised past Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-0 6-3 and will play Stan Wawrinka or Karen Khachanov in the next round. 

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