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Andy Murray tests positive for coronavirus before Australian Open; status uncertain

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Andy Murray’s status for the Australian Open was put in doubt Thursday after he tested positive for the coronavirus only days before his planned charter flight to Melbourne.

 

 

Andy Murray

The three-time Grand Slam champion is isolating at home near London, the tournament 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 statement said. “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.”

Murray has been given a wild-card entry into the first Grand Slam tournament of 2021.

The Australian Open was delayed three weeks because of COVID-19 restrictions and is set to begin Feb. 8. Players and officials must spend 14 days in quarantine once they arrive in Australia.

Andy Murray

Murray, a five-time Australian Open runner-up, earlier backed out of the Delray Beach Open in Florida to “minimize the risks” of contracting the virus through international travel.

Murray could still compete in Australia. American player Tennys Sandgren was given special clearance to board a charter flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne despite testing positive for COVID-19 in November and again on Monday.

Under tournament protocols agreed with Australian government authorities, all players had to return a negative test before boarding their flights to Australia and would be subjected to further testing on arrival and daily during a 14-day period of quarantine.

Sandgren received an exemption after Australian health officials assessed his case history.

American player Madison Keys has also tested positive before flying to Australia. She said she is self-isolating at home.

“I’ve 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,” Keys wrote on Twitter.

The first of about 1,200 players, coaches, entourage and officials were set to land Thursday in Australia.

Tennis Australia said players who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 were “required to provide additional and highly detailed medical information as proof they are a recovered case and no longer infectious or a risk to the community.”

Murray is currently ranked No. 123 after several years of battling hip injuries and surgery.

The 33-year-old Scot made a teary retirement announcement in Melbourne two years ago before undergoing a second round of surgeries to extend his career.

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‘Rafael Nadal literally thrashed Novak Djokovic’, says former No. 2

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How can you identify the greatest tennis player in the world? What are the parameters to take into consideration? All questions to which there is no real answer. The debate on the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) will probably never end and indeed with the recent victory at Roland Garros of the Spanish champion Rafael Nadal will become even richer.

The Majorcan has now joined Roger Federer at 20 Grand Slam titles while Novak Djokovic chases at 17. Recently, the strong Canadian tennis player Milos Raonic also spoke on the matter and he too declared that the debate on the GOAT will never end.

In conclusion it can be said that there are several additional factors to consider in the debate, beyond the Grand Slam count. Novak Djokovic was ‘literally thrashed’ by Rafael Nadal in the French Open final, says Alex Corretja.

Corretja on the French Open final

“Rafael Nadal literally thrashed Novak Djokovic,” Alex Corretja told sport.es. “And it should be remembered that the Serbian is the current number one in the world and that he has 17 Grand Slams to his credit.

“He defeated him at the most important moment and under the most adverse conditions”. Corretja also stressed just how big Nadal is in Spain, claiming no other Spanish athlete can match his popularity. “Without a doubt, he is the Spanish athlete with the largest number of followers in our country and the audiences support him.

The final had more than three and a half million viewers hooked on television to see Rafa’s new feat”. Rafael Nadal is respected and thought about a lot around the world. And for budding tennis players in Spain, Rafa is their inspiration.

Rafa’s academy in Mallorca, Spain is bringing up top talent into the tennis court. In his career or life, Rafa follows simple formulas to be who he is. The Rafa Nadal Museum Xperience is Rafa Nadal’s first and only trophy exhibition in which, in addition to collecting his 20 Grand Slam titles, highlights of his sporting career are collected from when he started playing tennis until today.

The tour is done through his trophies, but also through the shirts and shoes that Rafa won each of the Grand Slam finals in and played with throughout his career. In addition to knowing firsthand the results of one of the best tennis players in history, in the exhibition area visitors will be able to see the objects donated by some of the main figures in the history of world sport such as Michael Jordan, Fernando Alonso, Pau Gasol, Roger Federer, Mireia Belmonte, Usain Bolt, Serena Williams, Cristiano Ronaldo and many others.

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Rafael Nadal: “Better that a sportsman does not deal with politics”

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The controversy arising from the words of the Swedish AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic about LeBron James has caused a sensation in recent days. The experienced AC Milan player praised the qualities of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball player, but at the same time he stressed that as a basketball champion he only had to take care of that and not argue for political issues and that in any case they did not concern him.

LeBron James responded harshly in the conference, but during an interview with Veja the Spanish champion Rafael Nadal, although in different contexts and not dealing with this, wanted to talk about this issue. Here are his words: “Why don’t I want to talk about politics? I am aware of the political situation and I talk about it a lot with my friends and with my team members, I am informed and have my own opinion like any other citizen.

However, I know that if I start talking about politics, everything I say will be taken from a certain context and would make me uncomfortable. For this reason I avoid talking about it, even if I think I have every right in the world to express my opinion.”

Rafael Nadal on his career and on Djokovic
The Spanish champion also stated: “COVID-19 struck me a lot, especially during the quarantine. I couldn’t and didn’t want to train, I didn’t want to do anything.
When we managed to get some situations I resumed training albeit with less intensity, always trying to avoid injuries.

It was a slow process that took place step by step. I changed my routine and the virus undoubtedly hit me. Training without knowing what the next tournament was going to be was tough, we didn’t have any goals. However, playing without an audience was really sad, but I think I adapted to the new situation at Roland Garros.”

On the behavior of Novak Djokovic during the pandemic Rafa declared: “I prefer to talk about how I have lived the last few months instead of judging what others are doing. It was very difficult to observe what was happening and especially about what was happening around me.

We live in a very strict quarantine with thousands of deaths, I remember that between April and June there were over 50 thousand deaths in Spain. I didn’t have the strength to do anything given the situation and I think that given the problems of so many countries it is impossible to relax.”

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Serena Williams looking hot and smart with her daughter Olympia for Stuart Weitzman. VIDEO

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Serena Williams loves spending time and posing with her lovely daughter Olympia. The world no.7 is partnering with Stuart Weitzman, helping to promote the Spring 2021 collection. Serena appeared in a photoshoot and really nice and cute video with Olympia or… the “mini-Serena.”

Serena and her daughter Olympia are inseparable. As per Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou, they have never spent even 1 day apart and the former world no.1 travels around the world to play her tournaments only if Olympia can travel with her.

 

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