Andy Murray has spoken of his anger at lacking subsequent week’s Australian Open as a result of he caught Covid-19, pointing the finger on the tradition contained in the Nationwide Tennis Centre over Christmas.
Murray, 33, believes he contracted the virus whereas practising on the LTA’s excessive efficiency centre in London.
The Scot says “tonnes of individuals have been within the gymnasium” and thinks too many have been allowed to make use of the participant services.
The LTA stated “stringent and acceptable restrictions” had been utilized.
Because of catching coronavirus, Murray was not allowed to journey to Melbourne on a chartered flight as deliberate and was then unable to discover a “workable quarantine” to play on the Grand Slam after recovering.
As a substitute the previous world primary will play in Italy subsequent week on the ATP Challenger Tour.
“After we went to the NTC in April, if there are six indoor courts, you possibly can solely practise on one, three and 5. There wasn’t any testing at the moment, however the gymnasium was closed and it was restricted entry,” stated Murray.
“Whereas after Christmas you have got an indoor venue the place they’re utilizing all six courts, there have been tonnes of individuals within the gymnasium, and it was simply completely completely different.
“Now it is type of again to what it was in April, which is sweet. It is a utterly completely different constructing. All of the communal areas are severely restricted, just like the lunch corridor; there’s in all probability seven or eight seats most in there now, earlier than there would have been 30 to 40.
“However the actuality is that it occurred too late as a result of there have been fairly various instances between Christmas, New Yr and the gamers going off to Australia.”
Others have privately expressed reservations concerning the numbers allowed into the participant lounge, and the dearth of social distancing and masks carrying by some.
British primary Dan Evans educated on the NTC earlier than flying to the Australian Open and instructed attitudes there to the virus had “slackened”.
“I used to be fairly nervous the previous few days as a result of we knew the virus was there. However I acquired out unscathed,” he stated.
“If I used to be being a bit harsh, with out being impolite to some gamers in there, they in all probability should not have been in there. I do not assume they have been actually of a lot significance.
“The significance ought to have been on getting wholesome individuals to the Australian Open and there have been in all probability individuals in there who weren’t making ready for tournaments. Simply because there wasn’t stuff on, they have been perhaps utilizing the centre simply to practise, to get out.”
In response, the LTA identified the impossibility of eradicating all threat with the virus so widespread and stated it was unimaginable to “police each a part of the constructing repeatedly”.
“We’ve got constantly utilized the stringent and acceptable restrictions, testing and different protocols for elite coaching centres in step with authorities steering,” the LTA stated in a press release.
“We’ve got labored intently with Public Well being England with the intention to hold the centre open since April for each coaching and as a number venue for over 1000 aggressive matches throughout 17 tournaments on web site.
“Our protocols are often communicated to everybody utilizing the venue and we anticipate them to be adhered to within the participant lounge and all different areas of the constructing.”
The primary signal of illness Murray had was when he developed a barely dry throat just a few days earlier than his flight to Melbourne.
What began as a joke amongst his staff turned extra severe when he awoke at 3am the next morning with an aching physique and sore head.
“Three hours later I had the message via on my cellphone that I had examined optimistic,” he recalled.
“For 2 days, I used to be fairly unwell. I principally stayed in my room for 5 – 6 days, as a result of I did not need my household to get it, if doable.
“However then 5 to 6 days later my spouse examined optimistic, then just a few days after that the youngsters examined optimistic, so the entire household acquired it ultimately.”
With Murray and his household now totally recovered, he has travelled to the Italian metropolis of Biella the place he’ll play within the Challenger match. The highest seed faces Germany’s Maximilian Marterer on Monday.