Andy Murray says he is “devastated” to miss the Australian Open, having failed to find a “workable quarantine” after he recovered from coronavirus.
The former world No.1 is out of self-isolation but could not find a solution to the logistical challenge of getting to Australia and then quarantining ahead of the grand slam which starts on February 8.
Murray said: “Gutted to share that I won’t be flying out to Australia to compete at the Australian Open.
“We’ve been in constant dialogue with Tennis Australia to try and find a solution which would allow some form of workable quarantine, but we couldn’t make it work.
“I want to thank everyone there for their efforts, I’m devastated not to be playing out in Australia. It’s a country and tournament that I love.”
It is another blow for Murray’s hopes of returning to the top of the men’s game after injury severely hampered his 2020 campaign.
The Scot, a five-time runner-up in Melbourne, was unable to travel on one of the charter flights laid on by tournament organisers after recording a positive test.
Murray, who was asymptomatic, had hoped to arrive in Melbourne at a later date, but could not come to an agreement over quarantine, despite constructive talks with tournament director Craig Tiley.
Players who arrived in Australia last week are undergoing a strict quarantine process, where they can only leave their hotel rooms for several hours a day to practice.
There are 72 players in a full 14-day lockdown, having been on planes where players and coaches tested positive for the virus and they are not allowed out of their hotel rooms at all.
Murray had been given a wild card for the tournament, hoping to make his first appearance in Melbourne since the emotional events of 2019, when he revealed the extent of his right hip problems and raised the possibility of imminent retirement.
Last year, he played only seven Tour-level matches because of more injuries and the disruption caused by the pandemic and ended his season in October after a pelvic problem.
The three-time grand slam champion, currently ranked 123rd in the world, had pulled out of the season-opening Delray Beach Open in Florida earlier this month to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.