Sun. Jan 17th, 2021

Andy Murray's participation in the Australian Open is in doubt after the three-times grand slam champion tested positive for coronavirus. The former world number one was due to travel to Australia on one of the 18 charter flights laid on by tournament organisers but is still isolating at home. It is understood that Murray is said to be in good health and is hoping to arrive in Australia at a later date and participate in the year's first grand slam, which begins on Feb 8. Murray opted to withdraw from his planned trip to Florida at the start of the year for the Delray Beach Open due to concerns over the risk of Covid-19 infection in America. The decision was made with the delayed Australian Open of his main priority. He said earlier this month: “After much deliberation with my team I’ve decided not to travel to play in Delray Beach,” Murray said. “Given the increase in Covid rates and the transatlantic flights involved, I want to minimise the risks ahead of the Australian Open. I’m really thankful for the understanding of the tournament and I look forward to playing there soon.” Murray has been given a wild card from Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley, and was hoping to make a morale-boosting run at a tournament where he has reached the final five times but lost on each occasion, with four of those defeats coming against long-time nemesis Novak Djokovic. The Australian authorities have adopted a hardline position on Covid-19 and the rules state that anyone coming from overseas to compete at the major must spend two weeks in quarantine. The players will be released from the hotel once per day, but only so that they can practise in designated groups. Murray had planned to practise with British No 1 Dan Evans during the first week. In the second week, another two players can join the mini-bubble. The plan was for Murray and Evans to team up with Canadian world No 12 Denis Shapovalov and Chile’s world No 22 Christian Garin.