Andy Murray’s participation at the Australian Open is under heavy doubt despite the Scottish star’s team speaking with Tennis Australia to find a way to work around his positive coronavirus test.
Murray, 33, was set to arrive in Melbourne on Thursday or Friday on a chartered flight but has now been forced to remain in London and isolate at home after testing positive to the virus.
With three weeks to go before the Open is due to start, it will be a race against time for Murray, with all players having to test negative and undergo 14 days quarantine.
It’s understood the five-time Australian Open runner-up remains hopeful that he can still compete by travelling to Australia at a later date.
If Murray was to make the trip Down Under he may need to charter his own plane, which would come at a substantial cost.
Australian Open tennis players arrive in Melbourne
But former doubles champion Todd Woodbridge believes Murray is a long shot of making it in time to give himself a fair chance of competing at his best. Murray’s injury history would make the trip a risky one.
“All the players needed to catch charter flights in order to make it here in time to go through the quarantine period,” Woodbridge told Nine’s Today.
“If he were able to get his own charter to Melbourne he could possibly get here in time. I think that is highly, highly unlikely because Andy has been through major rehabilitation with hip surgeries.
“For him to arrive late and to only get a couple of days of full court practice before the Australian Open, I don’t think he’d take the risk on his body after going through what he has gone through to get to this point in his recovery.”
While Woodbridge is pessimistic about Murray’s chances of playing it’s understood the star is hoping he could delay his arrival into Melbourne, ahead of the tournament starting on February 8.
Murray’s team has been in contact with Tennis Australia and tournament director, Craig Tiley, but it is unclear how he’d be able to arrive at a later date due to the restrictions on foreign nationals entering the state on top of everything else.
Murray has not competed in Melbourne since 2019 when tournament officials gave him a retirement ceremony. That was when was on the verge of ending his career due to a hip injury. He pulled out of the final tournaments of 2020 due to complications associated to the issue.
Tennis Australia is in the middle of getting 1,200 players and their staff across 15 separate charter flights into Melbourne and Adelaide.
All the competitors must quarantine, but they will be allowed out of their rooms after a negative test in order to train under strict conditions for five hours each day.