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The tennis star couldn't participate in the tournament after testing positive for COVID-19

By Claudia Harmata
February 24, 2021 10:43 AM
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Andy Murray
Credit: MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty

Andy Murray is disappointed that he was unable to compete in the 2021 Australian Open.

The 33-year-old professional tennis player admitted to reporters on Monday that he did everything he could to avoid any news of the tournament after he was unable to compete due to COVID-19.

"I didn't watch any because I wanted to be there myself. It was a struggle to be honest," Murray said, according to the ATP Tour. "I stopped following all the tennis players I follow on social media and stuff because I just didn't really want to see it."

Last month, the Australian Open confirmed that Murray tested positive for COVID-19 and that he would not be able to participate in the annual Grand Slam tournament.

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"Andy Murray has advised that he has tested positive to COVID-19 and is isolating at home in the UK," the tournament said in a statement at the time. "Unfortunately this means he will be unable to join the official AO charter flights arriving in Australia in the coming days to go through the quarantine period with the other players."

The statement added: "The AO fans love Andy, and we know how much he loves competing here in Melbourne and how hard he'd worked for this opportunity."

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Murray — a former world number one player — entered a challenger tournament in Italy in place of the Australian Open. There, he made it to the final before losing to Ukrainian tennis player Illya Marchenko.

"When the match started I just felt very heavy-legged and I didn't deal with it well at all. But I guess it's kind of understandable, I hadn't played many matches in the last five months and was coming off two weeks where I basically wasn't allowed to do anything because of the virus," Murray told reporters this week. "And physically, in terms of pain, I felt good. My hips and stuff were good."

"I play in practice with lots of top players and I know how I get on against them. If I was getting smoked when I was practicing, I wouldn't keep going through it. But I know the level I am playing at," Murray continued.

Murray noted that playing against Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and other top players would be "difficult," but he feels like he still has what it takes.

"Provided I can stay fit for a period of time and get good practice and matches in, I don't see why I shouldn't be able to compete with the best players. I still feel like I can compete for big events. I wish I was able to show that in Australia. I was ready to do that. No question," he said.

On Tuesday, Murray competed at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier and lost to Egor Gerasimov in his first ATP Tour match, according to BBC News.