Andy Murray calls for 'severe repercussions' for US Open rule breakers

Andy Murray wants players who break US Open protocols to face ‘severe repercussions’, while he expressed his doubts over the trustworthiness of government coronavirus advice.

Murray, the two-time Wimbledon champion from Dunblane, intends to travel to New York next month for the hard court Grand Slam, which will be played behind closed doors at Flushing Meadows.

While Murray – and the majority of the eligible British cohort – will be jetting in to the Big Apple, world No. 1 Ash Barty has already pulled out of the event and Murray has already admitted he is expecting other players to follow suit.

He, however, is convinced that protocols put in place by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) – with the intention of creating a biosecure “bubble” – will be safe, although he accepts that it is reliant on the players to follow the rules.

Murray admitted it would be ‘silly’ to expect everyone to strictly adhere to the restrictions, but hopes there will be strong ramifications for those found guilty of breaking them in order to act as a deterent.

‘I think the majority of players will but it would be silly to expect nobody would break the rules and the protocols,’ said Murray.

‘You’ve seen that in the NBA and I think it has happened in the golf, I’m not 100% sure, I could be wrong on that.

‘In the NBA for example, which I think will be a similarish set-up for us, players have broken it so we should be preparing for that and that is where it is really important, I think, the repercussions should be quite serious because you end up putting the whole tour and event at risk.

‘The USTA is going through a huge effort to try to get this on and make it as safe as possible so if players aren’t abiding by the rules the repercussions should be severe.’

While Murray is confident the USTA will do their utmost to keep the players safe, he is not convinced by the trustworthiness of the government’s coronavirus advice.

Asked if Barty’s withdrawal made him consider his own participation, he replied: No, not really. Everyone will have different feelings on it, we’re all individuals.

‘I will have apprehensions about getting there and getting on flights for the first time in months.

‘It is a difficult one because you don’t know when the right time to start travelling would be, who do you listen to?

‘Do you trust everything the government is telling you all the time? Probably not.

‘You need to make your own decision on that and I trust that the USTA will have come up with a secure bubble for the players. It is just the getting there that I would be a bit concerned with.’

Murray also warned his fellow athletes that they need to be ‘smart’ with their scheduling if they’re to prevent injuries after such a long spell without competitive tennis.

There will be little time to rest between events when the tour resumes, with the Madrid Open starting the day after the US Open final, Rome kicking off a week after that before the French Open begins.

The shift from hard courts to clay can be tough on the body but there is little room for manoeuvre for players to try and ease themselves into clay-court tennis.

‘You know, the players need to be smart with their scheduling,’ added Murray. ‘There is no time in-between the events to do a 10-day preparation on the surfaces.

‘Any physiotherapist, sports doctor would tell you, when you start changing surfaces, and you gradually increase the load on your body on that new surface, you are creating a higher risk for injuries. The players need to be smart about that.

‘I think there is a little bit less pressure to play because of the rankings freeze, points freeze.

‘So hopefully that will allow the players who are winning matches, and going deep in the events, to make slightly smarter calls on that.

‘Players will need to be a little bit careful. Especially coming into play the best-of-five-sets event very quickly straight off the bat. They need to be careful.’

Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

Source: Read Full Article