Andy Murray will be ready to play Roland Garros in September—he just doesn’t envision tennis resuming by then.
The former world No. 1, who has been sidelined since last November recovering from a bone bruise in his pelvis, told CNN he will be fit for the French Open, but doubts the clay-court major will be contested due to the coronavirus crisis.
Roland Garros, originally scheduled for May, made the unilateral decision to move to September 20th—one week after the US Open ends. Murray says tennis’ global nature makes it unlikely the game sport will be back by then.
“I would definitely play on the clay if it goes ahead. I’m a bit skeptical whether it will,” Murray 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.”
Murray’s former coach, Hall of Famer Amelie Mauresmo, has said tennis cannot safely resume into there is a vaccine for COVID-19. Murray says travel bans currently in place in some countries would have to be diminished or removed in order for tennis to resume.
“You have to feel like the whole world is working normally again and travelling normally before tennis would go back, especially the major competitions,” Murray told CNN. “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.”
The three-time Grand Slam champion made an inspired return to tournament tennis last season that was eventually cut short by the pelvis injury, which he suffered in Madrid at the Davis Cup. At the time it was not considered to be a serious setback, but it has proved difficult for the father of two. Many thought Murray had cleared his biggest hurdle after he returned from his second hip surgery in the summer of 2019 and later claimed an emotional title at Antwerp in October.
The only man to successfully defend the Olympic gold medal in singles, Murray said he was showing symptoms of coronavirus infection last month, but self-isolated and was never actually tested for COVID-19.
“I was a little bit sick for two or three days about four weeks ago,” Murray 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.”
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