Andy Murray tested positive for the coronavirus days before leaving Britain for the Australian Open, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The three-time Grand Slam champion is isolating himself at his home near London and still hopes to compete in Australia when it is safe to travel, the person said.
Murray received a wild card entry in the inaugural Grand Slam tournament of 2021.
The Australian Open has been delayed for three weeks due to COVID-19 restrictions and is scheduled to start on February 8. Players and officials must spend 14 days in quarantine after arriving in Australia.
Murray, a five-time Australian Open finalist, had previously withdrawn from the Delray Beach Open in Florida to “minimize the risk” of contracting the virus through international travel.
While a positive test threatens Murray’s participation in Australia, it doesn’t necessarily rule him out.
US player Tennys Sandgren received special clearance to board a charter flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne despite testing positive for COVID-19 in November and again on Monday.
According to tournament protocols agreed to with Australian government authorities, all players were required to return a negative test before boarding their flights to Australia and would undergo additional testing upon arrival and daily during a quarantine period of 14 days.
Sandgren received an exemption after Australian health officials assessed his background.
The first of about 1,200 players, coaches, entourage and officials was due to land in Australia on Thursday.
Tennis Australia said on Thursday that players who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 were “required to provide additional and very detailed medical information to prove that they are a cured case and no longer infectious or a risk to the community” .
Murray slipped to No. 122 on the ATP rankings after several years of battling hip injuries and surgery.
The 33-year-old Scottish man made a tearful retirement announcement in Melbourne two years ago before undergoing a second round of surgeries to extend his career.
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