The eyes of world tennis are on the Australian Open. Almost all: and Biella,16 thousand kilometers from Melbourne, which Andy Murray will start his season on Tuesday 9 February. A 2021 that the British was sure could start from Australia: despite having been given a wild card, Covid prevented him. There would have been no time to observe the quarantine and then fly to Melbourne, and in Australia they made exceptions (“As long as it’s not negative, it won’t land,” said health minister Martin Foley): so Andy went from “I am devastated” for not being able to participate in the first Grand Slam of the season at PalaPajetta di Biella, home to two consecutive Challengers (and two more will be played in March), the first with a prize pool of less than 45 thousand dollars (for Biella2 it goes up to 132 thousand), over 1,000 times lower than the 50 million up for grabs for those who play the Australian Open.
Today the debut against the German Maximilian Marterer, number 203 in the world; in the second round there could be the crossing with an Italian, Gian Marco Moroni. Landed in Malpensa and guest of the Relais Santo Stefano di Sandigliano where it was set up the “bubble” for athletes, Murray met the mayor Claudio Corradino (“We didn’t even want to disturb him,” explained the mayor), then he concentrated exclusively on the field. Having registered after the closing (logical, given the hope of playing the Australian Open), he should have even played the qualifiers, but the cancellations of the last few days have opened the doors of the main draw to him. Murray, currently number 125 in the world, is seeded first.
“Physically I’m pretty good – he told Sky -. Mentally, on the other hand, I feel a bit like this, as you can imagine. I should have been in Melbourne, I had trained for a long time to be ready for the Australian Open, but unfortunately a lot has happened so I am now in Biella. But I am very grateful that they gave me this chance. I chose to come here because I need to play “.
Two tournaments in Biella, then again indoors in Montpellier, then who knows: “I want to be ready for the Slams: I want to play Roland Garros and Wimbledon. I hope to get there healthy. We hope that things can go better for the summer, maybe we can play Wimbledon in front of the fans. It would be fantastic if it were possible, but first of all there must be a safety condition ». The one that will prevent the Italian and Biella public from attending Murray’s matches: a pity.
February 9, 2021 (change February 9, 2021 | 12:37)
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