ANDY MURRAY has cast doubt over whether the US Open and French Open will go ahead because of the coronavirus crisis.
The US Open is due to take place between August 24 and September 13, with a week’s break before Roland Garros’ famous clay courts are supposed to host an event which has already been rescheduled because of the pandemic.
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But Murray, who is working to recover from his latest hip setback, told CNN: “I would definitely play on the clay if it goes ahead. 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 and coaches and teams coming from all over the world into one area.
“I would be surprised if they were back playing sport by September-time.
“You have to feel like the whole world working normally again and travelling normally before tennis would go back to especially the major competitions.
“If you took the French Open, let’s say things in Europe have improved, but there are certain countries that might still have issues.
“Then [you] have a tournament basically where people or players from a certain continent or countries are not allowed to come in to compete. I think the tournament loses.”
Murray’s comments raise once more the prospect of tennis not resuming in 2020.
The former world No 1 Murray knows the tennis shutdown is going to hit lower-ranked players hard in financial terms and believes prize money at the top of the sport could be shared.
Murray, a three-time Grand Slam winner, said: “Players ranked 250-300 in the world; it’s going to be really, really challenging for them.
“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 like, I don’t know what it is exactly, but something like $4 million.
“And 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 self-isolated after feeling ill but is unsure whether he contracted Covid-19.
He said: “”I was a little bit sick for two or three days about four weeks ago. 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.”
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