Andy Murray’s long-odds hopes of somehow being allowed to play the Australian Open despite missing his flight due to a positive COVID test seem useless at best.
Yet reports in British media suggest that the former No. 1 is “negotiating’ with Tennis Australia to work out some sort of a compromise which might allow the five-time tournament finalist to make a just-in-time appearance – without any meaningful training – by the time the major starts on February 8.
Murray was knocked back on his attempt this week to fly to Oz on a special player charter flight, with his positive virus test sending him straight into British quarantine.
While he would love to be able to front up when his time at home is done, there are the small matters of sparse air traffic availability between the UK and Melbourne added to the “no-exceptions” ruling of the Victoria state government.
With government bureaucrats dictating the regulations, including when players must arrive on their special flights (by this weekend), there seems little chance of the No. 122 gaining an exception.
Victorian health boss Martin Foley put the boot into Murray’s dream of an exception for himself and his team, with the politico telling Australian media on Friday:
“In regards to Mr Murray, we’ve been clear from the start that anyone who tests positive is not able to be part of the program coming into Melbourne and Australia..
“Mr Murray, and the other 1,240 people as part of the program, need to demonstrate that if they’re coming to Melbourne they have returned a negative test.
“So should Mr Murray arrive, and I have no indication that he will, he will be subject to those same rigorous arrangements as everyone else.
“Should he test positive prior to his attempts to come to Australia, he will be refused.”