‘Novak Djokovic coronavirus fiasco could put US Open in doubt,’ says Andy Murray
Andy Murray insists he was ‘not surprised’ after world number one Novak Djokovic and others who competed in the recent Adria Tour contracted the coronavirus, and he fears it could raise fresh questions over the viability of the US Open.
Djokovic recently recently organised and played in a series of exhibition matches in Serbia and Croatia. The tournament didn’t implement any social-distancing measures amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Trio Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki – and later Djokovic – subsequently contracted the virus. Djokovic’s wife, Jelana, also tested positive, prompting the cancellation of the Tour.
“It’s not surprising that players have tested positive when you see some of the scenes that went on there. Seeing some of the images and the videos at the players’ party, there was no social distancing and things like that in place,” Murray told Sky Sports.
“The coronavirus doesn’t care who we are or what we do – and we need to respect the rules.”
Whether this year’s US Open goes ahead, meanwhile, remains in the balance. The tournament is scheduled to start in late August, but remains in the balance in the wake of the latest infections.
“I’ve seen that some people have said that maybe this puts the US Open in doubt, which it may well do. But there are measures and protocols that they have in place in the US, so it’ll be completely different to what was going on in Serbia and Croatia,” added Murray.
“Obviously there will be no fans present, for a start, and the players will now be extremely aware that we can all be affected by this.”
Andy Murray’s comments came after Wednesday’s win over British number four Liam Broady in the Battle of the Brits – another tournament being played behind closed doors and strict preventative protocols.
Prior to this straight-sets victory over Broady in Roehampton, the 33-year-old Murray had not played competitive tennis since the Davis Cup in November 2019 due to a thigh injury. Murray will face the in-form Kyle Edmund on Wednesday.
“I didn’t hit the ball that well from the back of the court, had a lot of errors and the balance didn’t feel great, but it was alright,” the Scot told Amazon Prime.
“Kyle is fit and hitting a big ball so I’ll be surprised if I manage to come through that one.
“I will try to rest up and hopefully improve a little bit. If I serve like I did today and hit the ball a little bit cleaner from the back of the court I will give myself some chances, but it will be tough.”
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