Detailing the devastation, Murray said: “I watched very little of the Australian Open. I didn’t watch because I wanted to be there myself. It was a struggle.”
He added, “I stopped following all the tennis players I follow on social media because I just didn’t really want to see it. I saw little bis and pieces of highlights.”
After recovering from the virus, Murray travelled to Bella where he competed in the ATP Challenger. Now, he will return to the ATP tour competition for the first time since October of last year. He’ll head to the Open Sud de France in Montpellier where he’ll face Egor Gerasimov of Belarus.
Murray was hopeful that having Covid-19 antibodies could see him travel to Europe with greater freedom, but he’s since learned that the risk of testing positive due to viral shedding has made life more difficult. “When I arrived in Italy I tested positive on arrival and then you’re in the hands of the government and it’s not under the ATP jurisdiction,” said Murray. “I had to go through more testing and had to quarantine when I arrived to get tests, wait in my hotel and get a local nurse to come and test me. I then tested negative a couple of days later and I was allowed out.”
While Murray is adamant he can compete against the top players, there’s no doubt that tennis will look markedly different this year as competitions look to continue in the age of the pandemic. “I play in practice with lots of top players and I know how I get on against them,” said Murray. “If I was getting smoked when I was practising and playing with guys, I wouldn’t keep going through it. But I know the level I am playing at. I have not competed with the top 10 players in the world but I have been playing and practising with players between 20 and 70 in the world and doing absolutely fine.”
He added, “Provided I can stay fit for a period of time and get good practice and matches in, I don’t see why I shouldn’t be able to compete with the best players.”