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UPDATE 1-Tennis-Murray to miss Australian Open

23 Jan 2021 / 00:42 H.

    LONDON, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Former world number one Andy Murray has confirmed he will not be taking part in next month's Australian Open after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this month.

    "Gutted to share that I won't be flying out to Australia to compete at the Australian Open," Murray was quoted as saying by British media on Friday.

    "We've been in constant dialogue...to try and find a solution which would allow some form of workable quarantine, but we couldn't make it work."

    The 33-year-old Murray, a wildcard, confirmed last Thursday that he had tested positive for the virus and was in self-isolation at his home near London.

    That meant he was unable to take one of the charter flights laid on by Australian Open organisers, leaving him facing a race to be able to arrive in time to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine period as per health protocols.

    It is a major blow to the five-time Australian Open runner-up who last played at the tournament in 2019.

    On that occasion, after a first-round defeat by Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut, he received an emotional farewell on the court as it appeared his career was coming to a close because of a long-standing hip injury.

    After another surgery, however, Murray returned to the Tour later in 2019. Last year he played only seven Tour-level matches because of injury and the disruption caused by the pandemic.

    The three-time Grand Slam champion, currently ranked 123rd in the world, had pulled out of the season-opening Delray Beach Open in Florida earlier this month to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19. (Reporting by Martyn Herman Editing by Toby Davis)

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