No special Aust Open favours for Murray

Friday 15 January, 2021
Melissa Woods
Andy Murray Andy Murray
Andy Murray has tested positive for coronavirus and his Australian Open campaign is in doubt.

Five-time finalist Andy Murray won't be given preferential treatment if he tries to play in the Australian Open after testing positive to COVID-19.

The former world No.1 was unable to join the 1200-strong cohort of international players and officials on charter flights to Australia after being one of four international players to test positive.

American world No.16 Madison Keys, Spanish world No.53 Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and American world No.50 Tennys Sandgren also returned positive tests, but the latter was given permission to fly.

Sandgren originally tested positive back in November, with Victorian health authorities determining he was no longer contagious though still shedding viral particles.

Murray, a dual Wimbledon champion, is said to be in good health and still hopeful of being able to contest the year's first grand slam that begins on February 8.

Granted a wildcard after undergoing hip surgery which stalled his career, the tournament drawcard is reportedly working with Australian Open boss Craig Tiley to find a way to play.

However, Victorian health minister Martin Foley said the Scotsman must not expect any special favours.

"In regards to Mr Murray, we've been clear from the start that anyone who tests positive is not able to be part of the program coming into Melbourne and Australia," Foley said on Friday.

"Mr Murray, and the other 1240 people as part of the program, need to demonstrate that if they're coming to Melbourne they have returned a negative test.

"So should Mr Murray arrive, and I have no indication that he will, he will be subject to those same rigorous arrangements as everyone else.

"Should he test positive prior to his attempts to come to Australia, he will be refused."

Keys, a former semi-finalist at Melbourne Park, is also self-isolating after posting her result on social media.

"I unfortunately tested positive for (COVID-19) before I was supposed to fly to Australia," Keys wrote.

"I'm very disappointed to not be able to play in the coming weeks after training hard in the off-season and knowing Tennis Australia and the tours did so much to make these events happen."

Tennis Australia has chartered 15 flights from Doha, Abu Dhabi, Los Angeles, Singapore and Dubai with the first having arrived in Melbourne and Adelaide on Thursday night.

The passengers were greeted by airport staff and biosecurity officials wearing personal protective equipment including masks and face shields, before being whisked away to hotel quarantine.

All players and staff will be tested daily and must quarantine at Australian Open-dedicated hotels for two weeks.