Murray ‘gutted’ to miss Australian Open
Andy Murray will have to sit out the Melbourne tournament
Andy Murray said he was “gutted:” to miss the Australian Open after it proved difficult to find a “workable quarantine” following his positive test for coronavirus.
The five-times finalist was due to fly to Melbourne on a charter flight and is now out of self-isolation.
“We’ve been in constant dialogue with Tennis Australia to try and find a solution which would allow some form of workable quarantine, but we couldn’t make it work,” he said.
“I’m devastated not to be playing out in Australia. It’s a country and tournament that I love.”
At 123rd in the world, he was ranked too low to gain direct entry into Australian Open but the three-time Grand Slam champion was given a wildcard.
The Scot played only seven official matches in 2020 because of a lingering pelvic injury, and the suspension of the tours because of the pandemic.
His absence is the latest setback to the tournament which is starting three weeks later than usual.
There has been criticism from locals who are unable to travel that players are receiving preferential treatment.
Players had to test negative before taking one of the 15 chartered flights – which were put on last week by tournament organisers and operated at 25% capacity.
On arrival, the players and their support staff went straight into a 14-day quarantine under the conditions imposed by the Australian government.
That agreement allowed them out of their rooms for up to five hours a day for food and practice.
However, 72 players have been confined to their rooms in a tougher quarantine which led to some complaints and creative ways of staying fit after they travelled on three flights where positive cases were found on arrival.
For Murray, missing the tournament may at least allow for more recovery time from his niggling injury.
Since returning to competition in August 2019, he has competed in only 12 tournaments, losing nearly as many matches as he has won with a 16-12 record.
In his last full season, his win-loss record was 78-9.