Runaway COVID-19 danger in no-mask Florida sparked an Andy Murray reality check, with the former No. 1 on Thursday giving back his wildcard entry into a January ATP event to be staged in one of the world’s virus hotspots.
“After much deliberation with my team I’ve decided not to travel to play in Delray Beach,” the treble Grand Slam champion said as he cancelled what would have been his debut at the minor event normally frequented mainly by locals.
“Given the increase in COVID rates and the transatlantic flights involved, I want to minimise the risks ahead of the Australian Open.”
No. 122 Murray was joined as a Delray Beach no-show by compatriot Dan Evans,
Florida, without a mask mandate and a population shockingly nonchalant about the deadly virus, is looking more and more like a dicey proposition, with father of three Murray preferring to play it safe.
Reports indicate he will remain in the UK to prepare for the virus-delayed edition of the Australian Open, due to start on February 8 – three weeks late – under bio-lockdown with extremely limited crowds in Melbourne.
Murray, whose ranking after two hip surgeries would not allow him into the Grand Slam field, has been handed a wild card for the Open after playing a losing five finals at the major.