Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 5 August 2020

Andy Murray will 'definitely' play in September's rescheduled French Open

Three-time Grand Slam winner targets Roland Garros in September but is 'sceptical' it will take place

Andy Murray in action against Stan Wawrinka in the semi-finals of the 2017 French Open at Roland Garros. Getty
Andy Murray in action against Stan Wawrinka in the semi-finals of the 2017 French Open at Roland Garros. Getty

Andy Murray has said that he would "definitely" play in September's rescheduled French Open, if it is able to take place as planned.

The tennis season has been shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic since last month and will not resume until mid-July at the earliest.

Wimbledon has been cancelled and Roland Garros organisers controversially moved the French Open until September 20-October 4, starting just a week after the end of the US Open, from its usual start date in May.

"I'd definitely play on the clay, if it goes ahead," former world No 1 Murray told CNN.

"I'm a bit sceptical whether it will. I would imagine tennis would be one of the last sports to get back to normality because you've obviously got players, coaches and teams coming from all over the world into one area.

"I'd be surprised if they're back playing sport by September time, but we'll see."

Murray had been due to return from a hip injury at the Miami Open last month.

The 32-year-old Scot had considered retiring before surgery allowed him to make an initial comeback from injury last year,

winning his first ATP title since 2017 – the European Open in Antwerp – last October.

"I was training to get ready for that and that was going to be a good test. I was fit and feeling pretty strong," Murray, currently ranked 129th in the world, said.

Tennis chiefs said this week they were launching a relief programme would be launched to help lower-ranked players financially during the lockdown.

"Players ranked 250-300 in the world, it's going to be really, really challenging for them," said three-time Grand Slam champion Murray.

"And I think in the last few years, there has been some improvements and some changes, but probably not enough.

"Sometimes you see the prize money cheque for the winner of the Grand Slams. And it's ... something like $4 million [Dh14.7m].

"Could that money be used better and spent elsewhere in the earlier rounds or the qualifying draws or maybe used to grow some of the smaller events?"

Murray also says he displayed some of the symptoms of coronavirus at the start of the pandemic last month and chose to self-isolate, though he was never tested for the virus.

“I was a little bit sick for two or three days about four weeks ago,” he 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."

Updated: April 23, 2020 02:29 PM



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