Monday, 25 January, 2021

Murray's Australian Open in doubt after positive virus test

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Sandy Nunez | 14 January, 2021, 20:53

The Australian Open was delayed three weeks because of COVID-19 restrictions and is set to begin February 8.

Sandgren received an exemption after Australian health officials assessed his case history.

Sandgren sent out a series of tweets before his departure from Los Angeles, initially saying he tested positive on Monday and would miss his flight.

Tiley, the Australian Open tournament director, has spent months trying to deal with the logistical nightmares of hosting the Grand Slam during a pandemic.

The Scottish broadcaster said Murray was self-isolating and still had hopes of competing in the Australian Open next month.

"My two tests were less than 8 weeks apart. I was sick in November, totally healthy now", his tweet read. "Upon completion of that review he was cleared to fly", read the statement.

It said the evidence in Sandgren's case "suggested he had recovered from a previous COVID-19 infection and is still shedding viral particles".

Six women and six men will also travel to Australia as lucky losers and undergo mandatory quarantine like the rest of the global players, hoping to get a place in the main draw as cover for injuries or withdrawals.

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Victorian Police and Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville supported the decision to allow Sandgren to board the flight to Australia.

"I'd like to thank the Brandplus team of Bharat Godkhindi, Kay Godkhindi and Sagari Godkhindi and all their staff for organising women's qualifying in Dubai, and to the Doha team of Nasser Al-Khelaifi, Karim Alami and the Qatar Tennis Federation who have led the charge to help us stage the men's event".

"Upon arrival all players are immediately placed in a secure quarantine environment for 14 days under the authority of COVID Quarantine Victoria and will undergo a more rigorous testing schedule than most returning travellers".

Keys also added that she wasn't hoping to wait to find out if she could travel late to Australia and get a chance to play the first Major of the year.

These are the Grand Hyatt in Melbourne, the View on St Kilda Road, and the Pullman hotel in Albert Park.

They will have to stay in their hotel rooms for 19 hours a day, allowed out only to practice and train for five hours in strict bio-secure bubbles.

Each hotel will have its own dedicated training facility.

Players are due to touch down in Melbourne on chartered planes from seven cities, although the game's biggest stars, including Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams, will arrive in Adelaide and quarantine there.