Andy Murray has tested positive for Covid-19, throwing his plans to travel to next month’s Australian Open into confusion.
Sportsmail understands that the twice Wimbledon champion, due to leave this week for Melbourne, returned the positive test several days ago but is believed to be only experiencing minor symptoms.
There has been a minor outbreak at Roehampton’s National Tennis Centre in the past week, where the bulk of his recent training has been done, with fellow British player Paul Jubb known to have also contracted Covid.
Murray, who believed he had caught the disease in the first outbreak during the Spring last year, is still holding out hope that he may yet be allowed to travel to the tournament, which begins on February 8.
He has already been self-isolating for several days and the Australian Open is trying to provide some leeway within its strict quarantine rules to get players and staff there.
However, there seems no way that he will be able to join the current raft of charter flights that are in the process of leaving from the Middle East and Los Angeles this week and which include his fellow Brits.
Murray is desperate to return to the tournament where he has been a finalist on five occasions, and where it seemed his career would be over due to hip problems two years ago.
Ironically, after Christmas he withdrew from the first ATP event of the season at Delray Beach in Florida out of fears that it would increase his chances of catching Covid and jeopardise his trip to Australia.
Murray’s chances of making the trip seem to be improved by the fact that former quarter-finalist Tennys Sandgren was given dispensation to travel last night from Los Angeles, despite having tested positive on Monday, having also tested positive in November.
Murray’s management confirmed the diagnosis on Thursday morning, and he is currently at his home in Surrey. It was stressed that he would only travel when it is considered safe to do so, and that having had the virus and quarantined he would not be a risk.
The whole business of getting more than 1,000 tennis personnel to Australia is an enormously complicated matter, with specially laid on flights leaving in this current 48-hour period from Doha, Dubai and Los Angeles.