Andy Murray is worried professional tennis will not be back to normal for a long time and doubts the French Open will go ahead in its rescheduled slot for September while also suggesting he may have had coronavirus. The tennis calendar has been thrown into chaos with the pandemic.
And Murray believes tennis, with its focus on worldwide travel, will struggle to get going again when the lockdowns are lifted.
The 32-year-old predicts tennis could be one of the last sports to get back up to speed.
The French Open was postponed from its May-June date to September 20 – October 4, just a week after the US Open.
But Murray thinks it could still be in doubt with uncertainty over how different countries will deal with the virus.
“I would definitely play on the clay if it goes ahead. I’m a bit sceptical whether it will,” he told CNN.
“I would imagine tennis would be one of the last sports to get back to normality because you’ve obviously got players and coaches and teams coming from all over the world into one area. I would be surprised if they were back playing sport by September-time.
“You have to feel like the whole world is working normally again and travelling normally before tennis would go back, especially the major competitions.
“If you took the French Open, let’s say things in Europe have improved, but there are certain countries that might still have issues.
“If you then have a tournament where people or players from a certain continent or countries are not allowed to come in to compete. I think the tournament loses.”
Murray has also called on funding in the sport to be distributed fairly to help the players below the top bracket in the world with some in danger of losing out massively with no sport being played.
“Players ranked 250-300 in the world, it’s going to be really, really challenging for them,” said Murray, currently ranked 129th.
“And I think in the last few years, there has been some improvements and some changes, but probably not enough.
“Sometimes you see the prize money check for the winner of the grand slams. And it’s like, I don’t know what it is exactly, but something like $4 million.
“And could that money be used better and spent elsewhere in the earlier rounds or the qualifying draws or maybe used to grow some of the smaller events?”
Murray has also raised the possibility that he was infected with the virus but admits he’s unsure with testing not widely available yet.
“I was a little bit sick for two or three days about four weeks ago,” he said.
“So actually, before the beginning of when the quarantine started, I was sort of isolating for probably four or five days before that.
“Most people I’ve spoken to have had some sort of symptoms and felt a little bit sick, but it’s quite difficult to know whether you have actually had the virus or not.
“And obviously, the test should be saved for people that are in severe situations and the frontline NHS workers in this country.”
Published at Thu, 23 Apr 2020 07:26:00 +0000