Tennis: Andy Murray to miss Australian Open

Murray (above) said he was "gutted" that he would be unable to take part. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - Former world number one Andy Murray has confirmed he will not be taking part in next month's Australian Open after testing positive for Covid-19 earlier this month.

"Gutted to share that I won't be flying out to Australia to compete at the Australian Open," Murray was quoted as saying by British media on Friday (Jan 22).

"We've been in constant try and find a solution which would allow some form of workable quarantine, but we couldn't make it work."

The 33-year-old Murray, a wildcard, confirmed last Thursday that he had tested positive for the virus and was in self-isolation at his home near London.

That meant he was unable to take one of the charter flights laid on by Australian Open organisers, leaving him facing a race to be able to arrive in time to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine period as per health protocols.

It is a major blow to the five-time Australian Open runner-up who last played at the tournament in 2019.

On that occasion, after a first-round defeat by Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut, he received an emotional farewell on the court as it appeared his career was coming to a close because of a long-standing hip injury.

After another surgery, however, Murray returned to the Tour later in 2019. Last year he played only seven Tour-level matches because of injury and the disruption caused by the pandemic.

The three-time Grand Slam champion, currently ranked 123rd in the world, had pulled out of the season-opening Delray Beach Open in Florida earlier this month to reduce the risk of contracting Covid-19.

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