Andy Murray has pointed a stern finger at the LTA’s lax COVID protocols at the National Tennis Centre where he believes he caught the virus infection which prevented him taking his seat on the Tennis Australia charter flight to Melbourne and also put his own family at risk.
The 33 year old Scot tested positive two days before he was due to fly to Melbourne and is convinced it was because of lack of control over the Christmas period at the National Tennis Centre where he had been practicing as usual.
Murray claimed that “Prior to Christmas only courts one, three and five of the six available indoor courts had been in use at the NTC”
“There was no testing at that time, but the gym was closed and there was restricted access”
“However at Christmas all six courts were in use, and there were tons of people in the gym. It was just totally different”
Standards are thought to have slipped over the Christmas period at the NTC and the key reason cited was the absence of the LTA doctor, who was off having contracted coronavirus himself.
The behaviour of those using the player lounge has been questioned with apparently 15-20 people using facilities with little social distancing and lack of mask wearing in evidence.
One of Murray’s own “77 Management” companies charges, rising star Paul Jubb was the first confirmed case of Covid-19 on January 7, then Murray himself tested positive four days later.
Murray was ill for several days and tried to keep himself isolated away from his family, but his wife Kim and children then tested positive too.
Murray, speaking from Italy where he has accepted wildcard for the Biella Challenger event, is convinced he contracted Covid-19 while at the NTC having only spent time practicing there and being at his family home.
“I was p***ed off that I missed the tournament and wasn’t able to go to Australia from a personal perspective, but then the wider more important point, is that it’s not just about a tennis tournament, when I am going back and giving the virus to all of my family and infecting them” Murray said.
“I care about that a lot. And I don’t think people always realise that if you’re not sticking to what the rules and the protocols are, or the protocols that are in place are not good enough, you’re putting people in serious danger. It’s frustrating.”
Missing the first slam of the year was bad enough but the three time Grand Slam winner was even more furious at passing on the COVID19 virus to his family and another relation who suffered badly.