The precarious nature of tennis’ return was introduced to the fore this weekend, with a participant testing optimistic for coronavirus through the WTA’s restart in Palermo and critical doubts being raised over the Madrid Open.
There’s a component of threat that comes with travelling to any worldwide tennis event within the current local weather – one thing Andy Murray acknowledges as he prepares to head to New York later this month.
With the pandemic removed from beneath management globally, why take the danger?
For Murray, an eagerness to return to a sport he has been, by and huge, cruelly parted with due to injury in latest years is a serious driving issue.
Indeed, since hobbling out of Wimbledon in 2017, he has solely featured in two Grand Slam singles occasions of a doable 10 – and he is just not taking any alternatives to play at majors without any consideration within the again finish of his profession.
‘I don’t know what number of alternatives I’ll have left to play in Slams, so whereas I’m feeling comparatively respectable, clearly there’s a threat there however I need to attempt to play in them and benefit from the largest occasions once more.
‘I missed that a lot, I’ve missed it. I really like enjoying the largest occasions, though this shall be completely different with no followers however that’s one thing I care about and prepared to take a threat to go and play.’
The uncertainty dealing with gamers was hammered residence this weekend. On Saturday, an unnamed asymptomatic feminine participant withdrew from Palermo – the primary skilled tennis event since March – with information breaking simply earlier than play began within the Sicilian capital.
‘All those who may have been in close contact with the individual are undergoing testing,’ an announcement from the WTA learn. ‘The 31st Palermo Ladies Open will continue as planned.’
While Palermo organisers will maintain calm and keep on, the Madrid Open – a event Murray is scheduled to play in – seems to be beneath critical menace.
Tournament organisers had been suggested by the Spanish well being ministry not to maintain the clay-court occasion – scheduled to begin a day after the conclusion of the US Open on September 12 – as a result of of Madrid’s ‘deteriorating’ coronavirus scenario.
Madrid Open proprietor Ion Tiriac will make the ultimate choice on whether or not to maintain the occasion, which is one of two top-tier males’s and ladies’s tournaments – alongside with Rome – that can present a warm-up to the French Open.
‘Due to the rise in instances of Covid-19 in Madrid in latest days, the organisers acknowledged their issues about having the ability to stage the event free from well being problems that may have an effect on the gamers, followers and workers, mentioned a Madrid Open assertion.
Andy Murray’s efficiency finally 10 Grand Slams
2017 US Open: Did not play
2018 Aus Open: Did not play
2018 French Open: Did not play
2018 Wimbledon: Did not play
2018 US Open: Second spherical
2019 Aus Open: First spherical
2019 French Open: Did not play
2019 Wimbledon: Did not play
2019 US Open: Did not play
2020 Aus Open: Did not play
‘In view of this situation, the organisers requested the help of Antonio Zapatero, deputy secretary of public health, and were advised not to stage the tournament due to the current trend of Covid-19 cases.’
Asked in regards to the potential cancellation of the occasion, Murray added: ‘We have to wait and see, it’s an unbelievably fluid scenario proper now.
‘I don’t know if Madrid will get cancelled there may be the chance to doubtlessly put occasions on elsewhere as effectively.
‘That’s my understanding, so we’ve to wait and see what the scenario is with that first earlier than commenting. If there have been no occasions and solely Rome then that makes it a bit difficult, however comparable to the US Open in that we’ve acquired Cincinnati beforehand.’
Murray has dedicated to enjoying in the principle attract Cincinnati reasonably than coming into qualifying – one thing he was contemplating so as to purchase himself extra time between the Masters 1000 occasion and the US Open.
He is contemplating jetting in to New York earlier than the biosecure “bubble” circumstances are arrange by the event on August 15 and enjoying at non-public courts so as to get used to the town’s enjoying circumstances.
Murray will keep within the designated lodge, reasonably than renting extra sizeable lodging within the surrounding areas so as to carry a bigger entourage with him.
But he admitted there are nonetheless issues over getting insurance coverage for the 2 group members he intends to carry.
‘Just my physio and my coach,’ he replied when requested who would accompany him to New York. ‘That’s the plan.
‘The most important thing for them is the insurance, the players are insured. We’ve been advised there shall be one to two members of workers shall be insured, don’t know via USTA or ATP precisely, however advised that’s the case.
‘Until that is certain it is difficult for people to agree to go over there because if you catch something and have to spend a few weeks, potentially a month, in a hospital in America it is tens of thousands of pounds. The insurance is important.’
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