Andy Murray has recently contracted Covid-19 and has been forced to isolate at home, it has been confirmed.
The three-time Grand Slam champion had been due to depart this week for Melbourne. He reportedly returned the positive test several days ago, but is understood to be only experiencing minor symptoms.
As noted by the Daily Mail, there has been a minor outbreak at Roehampton’s National Tennis Centre in the past week, where he has done the bulk of his recent training. Fellow British player Paul Jubb is also known to have contracted cornavirus.
Murray's representatives have confirmed the reports that he has Covid-19 and will have to continue to self-isolate at home rather than continue with his provisional travel plans.
The Scot is reportedly still holding out hope that he may yet be allowed to travel to the tournament, which begins on February 8, but he may require special dispensation.
There are currently a raft of chartered flights taking players and staff out to the major event from around the world, and Murray had been hoping to be among the individuals travelling in the next few days.
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Murray had been desperate to attend the first Slam of the year - an event at which he has been a finalist on five occasions - but his hopes certainly now appear to be uncertain.
It is, perhaps, ironic that the Brit had only recently decided not to travel to play at Delray Beach after having been granted a wildcard to ensure that he would not risk missing the chance to compete in Melbourne.
If Murray can somehow make it out to Australia in time to fulfil the necessary quarantine criteria then it would be a huge relief for him, but this setback has already spoiled his ideal preparations.
One quirk that could be in the 33-year-old's favour is the fact that former quarter-finalist Tennys Sandgren was given somewhat surprising dispensation to travel from Los Angeles late on Wednesday evening, despite having reportedly tested positive on Monday, and having also tested positive back in November.
Having now likely missed the opportunity to join any of the specially laid-on flights departing from Doha, Dubai and Los Angeles, Murray now faces a race against time to compete in Melbourne.
What are the quarantine rules?
Tennis players are set to face the “strongest and strictest” quarantine rules when they arrive in Melbourne – and could be deported if they break the rules.
Around 1,200 players and officials are set to arrive this week ahead of the 'Happy Slam'. Everyone is required to have a Covid-19 test before travelling.
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A positive result, such as the one Murray has had, means that players are not allowed to travel, while if they get a positive result back when they are flying they will be taken straight to a health hotel when they arrive.
The arrivals will undergo a two-phase screening process at the airport and, if they pass, they will then be escorted to one of three designated hotels for a 14-day quarantine period.
When in Melbourne, players and their support staff will be tested daily. Players are allowed to have two people accompany them to the event, but only one can join them on the courts.