Andy Murray tests positive for coronavirus

14 January 2021, 10:10 | Updated: 14 January 2021, 15:33

Tennis star Andy Murray has tested positive for coronavirus
Tennis star Andy Murray has tested positive for coronavirus. Picture: PA

By Megan White

Tennis star Andy Murray has tested positive for coronavirus days before he was set to fly to Melbourne for the Australian Open.

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 in Melbourne.

Read more: Previous Covid infection provides some immunity 'for up to five months'

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.

They will then complete 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.

Murray has been given a wild card for the tournament and is hoping to make his first appearance in Melbourne since the emotional events of 2019, when he revealed the extent of his right hip problems and raised the possibility of imminent retirement.

A resurfacing operation shortly afterwards allowed him to resume his career that summer but he has experienced several setbacks since, the most recent an issue with his left psoas muscle, which connects the spine to the femur.

He spoke positively about his fitness in November and last month played two matches at the most recent Battle of the Brits event, beating Dan Evans and Cameron Norrie.

Meanwhile, tournament organisers have explained why American player Tennys Sandgren was allowed to travel to Australia despite testing positive for Covid-19 on Monday.

Sandgren, a two-time quarter-finalist in Melbourne, had coronavirus in November and is therefore no longer deemed infectious.

An Australian Open statement read: "In the case of Tennys Sandgren, who has self-disclosed that he previously tested positive in late November, his medical file had to be reviewed by Victorian health authorities. Upon completion of that review he was cleared to fly."

Dominic Thiem's coach, Nicolas Massu, has been unable to travel after testing positive but is hoping to fly at a later date while Carlos Moya, the coach of Rafael Nadal, has decided not to make the trip and will stay with his family.