Covid: Andy Murray Australian Open appearance in doubt after positive test

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Scots tennis star Andy Murray has tested positive for coronavirus.

It means his participation in the Australian Open is in doubt – as he begins a period of required self-isolation. 

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, who is said to be in good health, is hoping to be able to arrive in Australia at a later date and participate in the year’s first grand slam, which begins on February 8.

Meanwhile, Murray and his team are working closely with tournament director Craig Tiley to try to come up with an acceptable solution.

Tournament organisers spent several months negotiating an arrangement that was acceptable to local and national government agencies regarding the admission of more than 1,000 tennis players and associated personnel to Australia.

Players are due to begin arriving in the country within the next 24 hours before completing a two-week period of quarantine, during which they are allowed out of their rooms to practise for five hours a day.

They were told that a positive test prior to flying would mean they were not allowed to travel to Australia.

It comes after Murray said he thought tennis players should be required to have a coronavirus vaccination in order to play in tournaments.

Tennis, like football and other sports, has been badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with many events either unable to take place, played virtually or held behind closed doors.

Speaking in November, Murray said: “I would hope that all the players would be willing to [be vaccinated]for the good of the sport – providing everything has proved to be safe, clinical trials and everything have been done and there are not any significant side-effects.”

Earlier this year, world number one Novak Djokovic was criticised for anti-vaccination comments, however he later said that while he was not against vaccinations – he did not like the idea of being forced to have one.

Murray said: “I guess it would be difficult. I also read a few weeks after he’d said he wouldn’t be keen on doing that, if it was something that had to be done for him to play the sport, he would.

“So I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the ATP and the ITF (International Tennis Federation) decide their position is going to be on that. But I’m confident that players would be into it if it meant the tour going back to normality.”

Strict quarantine rules in Australia previously cast doubt on the viability of the Australian Open, but it is understood that Murray is still hoping to compete next month.

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