Andy Murray’s pain was so great to be thwarted in his efforts to compete in the Australian Open that he refused to look across the globe and did all he could to avoid the tournament altogether.
Murray was barred from traveling to Australia after a positive Covid test made it impossible to adhere to the country’s strict biosecurity protocols. Instead, he started his year on the somewhat less healthy Biella Challenger in northern Italy, where he lost to the Ukrainian Illya Marchenko in the final.
Determined to prove he can climb the ranks and succeed at the highest level after multiple injuries, Murray now returns to TBEN service at the Open Sud de France on Tuesday with a first round match against Belarusian Egor Gerasimov . But there remains a strong resentment that he failed to prove himself in this year’s first Grand Slam.
Asked Sunday about Novak Djokovic’s straight-set victory over Daniil Medvedev in Melbourne, Murray replied: “I didn’t watch him. I trained and watched the Australian Open very little. I didn’t watch any because I wanted to be there myself. It was a struggle to be honest. I stopped following every tennis player I follow on social media because I just didn’t want to see it.
Absent from nine of the last 13 Grand Slam tournaments, a bullish Murray is eager to prove he can still compete with the best in the world, insisting he was “painless” in his recent run to the final in Italy.
“I’ve played and practiced with a lot of top players and I know how I stack up against them,” he said. “If I got smoked while training and playing with guys, I wouldn’t go on living. But I know the level at which I play.
“Obviously I haven’t competed with the top 10 players in the world, but I’ve played and practiced with guys who are between 20 and 60/70 in the world and are doing just fine, and that’s away from playing games over the past two years.
“As long as I can stay in shape for a while and have good training and games, I don’t see why I can’t compete with the best players. I wish I could show it in Australia because I was ready to do it. No question, I was ready to do it.
Having previously spoken of his frustration at believing he had contracted Covid at the National Tennis Center in London, Murray also revealed the lingering difficulty this disease – from which he is fully cured – provides him as he attempts to travel from country to country. country for tournaments at the mercy. Covid regulations from different governments.
“The problem is, you can still test positive three to four months after you contract the virus,” he said. “It actually made it more difficult. It is a concern.