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Murray, Ferrari's Leclerc test positive for COVID-19

Last updated on: January 14, 2021 21:20 IST
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Murray a doubt for Australian Open after testing COVID-19 positive

Andy Murray

IMAGE: Britain's Andy Murray reacts. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

Britain's former world number one Andy Murray is doubtful for next month's Australian Open after organisers confirmed on Thursday that he has tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Murray, 33, was awarded a wildcard by organisers to play in the main draw of the year's first Grand Slam in Melbourne.


"Andy Murray has advised that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is isolating at home in the UK," Tennis Australia said in a statement.

"Unfortunately this means he will be unable to join the official AO charter flights arriving in Australia in the coming days to go through the quarantine period with the other players.

"The AO fans love Andy, and we know how much he loves competing here in Melbourne and how hard he'd worked for this opportunity."

British media reported that Murray was in good health and still hoped to compete at Melbourne Park in the hardcourt major, which has been pushed back three weeks and will start on Feb. 8 due to strict pandemic health measures in Australia.

However, even if Murray recovers soon it will be difficult for him to make it to Australia later as players and officials must arrive during a 36-hour window from Thursday and then serve a mandatory isolation of 14 days as per health protocols.

The players, who will be allowed to spend five hours outside their rooms during quarantine for training purposes and will be tested daily for the virus, will then play warm-up events at Melbourne Park from Jan. 31 before the Australian Open starts.

The first batch of players and their support staff landed in Melbourne on Thursday while top players, including Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams, arrived in Adelaide where they will isolate before playing an exhibition event.

Three-time Grand Slam champion Murray, currently ranked 123rd in the world, had pulled out of the season-opening Delray Beach Open in Florida earlier this month to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.

He had hip resurfacing surgery in early 2019 but made his comeback to win the Antwerp title nine months later.

Murray missed most of the 2020 season due to complications with his hip and struggled for form on his return after the COVID-19 hiatus, suffering a second-round defeat in the U.S. Open before falling in the opening round at Roland Garros.

Ferrari's Leclerc isolating after positive COVID-19 test

Charles Leclerc

IMAGE: Ferrari's Charles Leclerc during a press conference. Photograph: FIA/Handout via REUTERS

Ferrari Formula One driver Charles Leclerc announced on Thursday he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was self-isolating at home in Monaco with mild symptoms.

The 23-year-old said he was feeling okay.

"I am regularly checked according to my team's protocols. Unfortunately, I learned that I have been in contact with a positive case and immediately went into self-isolation, notifying anyone I had contact with," he said on Instagram.

"A subsequent test I took has come back positive," he added.

"I will remain in isolation in my home in Monaco in compliance with the regulations set by the local health authorities."

Leclerc did not say where he might have contracted the virus but was in Dubai earlier this month.

He is the fifth F1 driver known to have tested positive for COVID-19 after Mexican Sergio Perez, Canadian Lance Stroll, Britain's seven times world champion Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris.

McLaren's Norris was the most recent, testing positive while on holiday in Dubai earlier this month before a winter training camp.

The 2021 Formula One season is due to start in Bahrain on March 28 after the usual Australian opener was postponed due to the pandemic.

Leclerc finished eighth overall last season as Ferrari endured their worst campaign in 40 years.

He is joined this year by Spaniard Carlos Sainz from McLaren in place of four times world champion Sebastian Vettel.

American Keys tests positive for COVID-19, to miss Australian Open

American Madison Keys said she tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss next month's Australian Open in Melbourne.

The world number 16 said she returned a positive result before she was due to travel to Australia and is now self-isolating at her home.

The first Grand Slam of the year is scheduled to be played from Feb. 8-21.

"I'm very disappointed to not be able to play in the coming weeks after training hard in the off-season and knowing Tennis Australia and the tours did so much to make these events happen," the 25-year-old tweeted.

Southampton striker Ings tests positive for COVID-19

Southampton striker Danny Ings has tested positive for COVID-19 and is set to miss Saturday's trip to Leicester City, manager Ralph Hasenhuettl said on Thursday.

Hasenhuettl said Ings returned a positive result after their 1-0 Premier League win over Liverpool at home last Monday, where the 28-year-old scored the winning goal.

"We've had one positive test since the Liverpool game; Danny Ings, so he's been out for the past 10 days," Hasenhuettl told reporters.

"He may have been contagious against Liverpool. But we have had no other positives since.

"When you stick to the protocols, you minimise the risks and that's what we're continuing to do. I don't know if Danny can come back (to training) tomorrow, but it looks like he's out for the weekend."

Striker Michael Obafemi will also miss Saturday's game after undergoing surgery but goalkeeper Alex McCarthy and forward Che Adams are available. Moussa Djenepo joins Nathan Redmond and Jannik Vestergaard among the long-term absentees.

Southampton are seventh in the league with 29 points after 17 games, while Leicester are fourth on 32 points from 17 games.

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