Monday, 25 January, 2021

Australian Open qualifiers bound for Melbourne

Tennys Sandgren had been originally diagnosed with Covid-19 in November World No.25 makes sad Australian Open announcement
Cary Erickson | 14 January, 2021, 15:33

However, that could prove hard with players and officials required to arrive in Australia during a 36-hour window from Thursday and needing to serve a mandatory isolation of 14 days.

Sandgren tested positive to Covid-19 on Monday, after originally testing positive in late November, and was initially barred from the flight containing global players out of Los Angeles.

The American, a quarterfinalist at last year's tournament, had been ill and tested positive for the virus in November but returned another positive test earlier this week while feeling "totally healthy".

Following criticism on Twitter, the world No. 50 said: "There's not a single documented case where I would be contagious at this point".

"Players and their teams are tested every day from their arrivals in Australia, a much stricter process than for anyone else in hotel quarantine".

Britain's former world No 1 Andy Murray tested positive for the novel coronavirus recently and his participation in next month's Australian Open is in doubt, local media reported on Thursday. "Upon completion of that review he was cleared to fly".

Another added: "Imagine ruining an worldwide tournament and putting a country of millions at risk for Tennys Sandgren". The tournament is set to run from February 8-21.

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The season's first major has already been delayed by three weeks because of restrictions in place for the pandemic, and the men's and women's qualifying tournaments - in Doha, Qatar and in Dubai - were held outside of Australia for the first time.

On the men's side, the qualifiers include 17-year-old ATP newcomer of the year, Carlos Alcaraz of Spain.

Murray and his team are working closely with tournament director Craig Tiley to try to come up with an acceptable solution, which would allow him to take part in the year's opening Grand Slam.

Murray, a five-time Australian Open runner-up, earlier backed out of the Delray Beach Open in Florida to "minimize the risks" of contracting the virus through global travel.

The Australian Open draw will be conducted on Thursday 4 February.

Novak Djokovic is the defending men's champion and Sofia Kenin is the women's defending champion.

They will quarantine in a hotel there before an exhibition event at Memorial Drive on January 29 in the South Australian capital, featuring eight of the world's top players.