Andy Murray set to make season debut at Italian Challenger event after missing Australian Open

Matt Majendie
·1 min read
 (Getty Images for LTA)
(Getty Images for LTA)

Andy Murray had hoped to begin his season in Australia but will instead start his 2021 at a little-known Challenger event in Italy next month.

Murray had been given a wildcard to compete at the Australian Open by tournament bosses but was unable to board the chartered flight from London after testing positive for Covid-19.

He had planned to arrive in Australia late but that was ruled out on Friday after he failed to find a workable quarantine with government and health officials.

A strict 14-day quarantine would have left him dangerously short of any on-court preparation time for the opening Grand Slam of the year so he opted not to travel Down Under.

But Murray has now committed to playing in the Biella Challenger from February 15, which coincides with the start of the second week of the Australian Open.

It is a shift of plan from the original intention to get back to competition at the ATP 250 in Montpellier on February 22 followed by the ATP 500 in Rotterdam, which begins the following week.

Murray played before Christmas in brother Jamie’s latest Battle of the Brits but last made an ATP appearance in Cologne in October, where he lost in the first round.

The world No123 takes on, among others in the Biella field, ex-Australian Open semi-finalist Lucas Pouille, and Sebastian Korda, who knocked out Murray’s fellow Briton Cam Norrie en route to the recent final of the Delray Beach Open.

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