Former World No.1 Andy Murray will now compete in a challenger tournament in Biella next month following his Australian Open withdrawal, the Italian Tennis Federation confirmed on Wednesday.
Three-time Grand Slam winner Murray was forced to pull out of the first major of 2021 in Melbourne after he was unable to find what he called a ‘workable quarantine’ following a positive Covid-19 test on 14th of January.
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Tennys Sandgren sparked outrage before the tournament on social media after revealing that he was allowed on an Australian Open charter flight to Melbourne, despite testing positive for Covid-19.
But Murray opted against travelling after chatting to Tennis Australia.
"Gutted to share that I won't be flying out to Australia to compete at the Australian Open," Murray said.
"We've been in constant dialogue with Tennis Australia to try and find a solution which would allow some form of workable quarantine, but we couldn't make it work.
"I want to thank everyone there for their efforts, I'm devastated not to be playing out in Australia. It's a country and tournament that I love."
Murray’s first challenger event since 2019
Unfortunately, due to Murray’s ranking sitting outside the Top 100 he will enter the challenger event in Italy.
The indoor tournament in Biella, which begins on 15th of February and has 132,000 euros ($159,918) of prize money, will mark the 33-year-old’s first appearance at a challenger event since competing in Mallorca in August 2019.
Murray, now ranked 123 in the world after battling his way back from two hip operations, could face the likes of World No.54 Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and World No.74 Lucas Pouille.
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