01/22 10:55 CST Andy Murray pulls out of Australian Open, says he's 'gutted'
Andy Murray pulls out of Australian Open, says he's 'gutted'
By HOWARD FENDRICH
AP Tennis Writer
Five-time Australian Open finalist Andy Murray withdrew from the year's first
Grand Slam tournament, saying Friday he could not figure out a workable
quarantine that would allow him to compete amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement comes a little more than a week after Murray, who has won
three Grand Slam singles titles elsewhere, said he tested positive for COVID-19
shortly before he was due to board a charter flight to Melbourne.
"Gutted to share that I won't be flying out to Australia to compete at the
Australian Open. We've been in constant dialogue with Tennis Australia to try
and find a solution which would allow some form of workable quarantine, but we
couldn't make it work," Murray said. "I want to thank everyone there for their
efforts, I'm devastated not to be playing out in Australia. It's a country and
tournament that I love."
He had been awarded a wild-card entry by Tennis Australia to allow him to
compete at Melbourne Park, where the hard-court major championship is scheduled
to begin Feb. 8, a three-week delay due to the pandemic.
Players and officials must spend 14 days in quarantine once they arrive in
Murray is a former No. 1 who is currently ranked 123rd as he works his way back
from hip issues that led to two operations. The 33-year-old from Scotland has
won two titles at Wimbledon and one at the U.S. Open, along with the last two
Olympic men's singles gold medals.
He was the runner-up at the Australian Open in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016.
In 2019, before a first-round exit in Melbourne, Murray said he was going to
need to retire from tennis because of his hip issues that led to surgery a year
earlier --- but he wound up having a second procedure and returning to the tour
Murray had withdrawn from the Delray Beach Open in Florida this month, saying
he wanted to "minimize the risks" of contracting the virus through
international travel ahead of the Australian Open.
Under tournament protocols agreed to with the government authorities in
Australia, all players had to test negative test before boarding a charter.
They then had to have additional testing when they arrived and during a 14-day
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