Andy Murray is suddenly facing the real fear of a mandated quarantine lockdown once back in Europe for players who compete at the US Open.
The former No. 1 who competed at the weekend in a London exhibition, told local media of his worries – and wants tennis bosses to sort things fast.
A New York double bill of back-to-back quarantined events – the Open itself is due to start on August 31 – is awaiting final approval in the US where COVID-19 cases are coming close to five million.
For Europeans who choose to compete in the no-fan “health bubble” series in the States, getting into the country is not a huge problem.
But returning to much safer Europe could present dramas.
Upon arrival, any normal punter would be put into quarantine for from 10-14 days in almost all European nations.
With the Madrid and Rome Masters due to be played in the pair of weeks following the Open from September 13 – men’s finals day in New York – , the schedule is basically unworkable.
And Murray seems to have figured that out.
““My understanding is that it would be sorted before we go to America. But things can change in the next 10 to 12 days,” the Scot said.
“Hopefully before we leave, the players will have the assurances that, when they come back from America, they won’t have to quarantine for two weeks.
“If that is the case, and if you do well in the US Open, you can’t just arrive on the Sunday before the French Open starts on the Monday. That’s not going to work.”
The problem might become moot if Marid officials follow strong Spanish government advice at the weekend to call off their event due to the recent rise in virus cases; Italy would require a 14-day quarantine for any entering player under current regulations.
The US Open, still dealing with its own New York state government for final permission to play, has hinted to Europeans that they are also somehow on the quarantine case across the Atlantic.
Murray, who has missed most of the past two ATP season due to a pair of hip surgeries, seems willing to go to any length to make it onto court at a major.
“The situation I’ve been in the last few years, I’ve not had opportunity to play in many Slams. I don’t know how many I’ll have left.
“While I’m feeling relatively decent … obviously there is a risk there, but I want to try and play and enjoy the biggest events again.”