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Andy Murray withdraws from Delray Beach citing desire to minimize Covid-19 risks before Australian Open

Andy Murray has confirmed that coronavirus-related concerns prompted his withdrawal from January’s ATP event at Delray Beach.

The former world no1 had looked set to start his 2021 season at the tournament in Florida after receiving a wildcard, with his first match expected to take place on January 8.

However, Murray’s withdrawal from the Delray Beach Open was confirmed on Thursday, initially sparking some fears that the three-time Grand Slam winner may have suffered a fresh injury setback ahead of February’s delayed Australian Open in Melbourne, for which he has also been handed a wildcard.

Addressing the reasons behind that decision

The 33-year-old actually cited a desire to minimize the risks relating to Covid-19 ahead of the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, with coronavirus rates remaining high in the USA and Australia having strict protocols on entry into the country.

Earlier in December, the Victorian state government confirmed that players participating in the Australian Open would need to spend two weeks in quarantine ahead of the event, meaning they will likely need to arrive three weeks in advance in order to observe that fortnight and compete in any warm-up tournaments.

“After much deliberation with my team I’ve decided not to travel to play in Delray Beach,” Murray stated.

“Given the increase in Covid rates and the transatlantic flights involved, I want to minimise the risks ahead of the Australian Open.

“I’m really thankful for the understanding of the tournament and I look forward to playing there soon.” Along with Murray, current British no1 Dan Evans has also withdrawn from the Delray Beach Open.

Murray, three-times Grand Slam champion, underwent hip resurfacing surgery in January last year and has slipped to 122nd in the rankings after playing only seven matches this year.

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