Andy Murray says he is still feeling “apprehensive” about travelling to New York for the US Open amid the Covid-19 pandemic – but the former world number one says he is mentally preparing for the Grand Slam.
The United States has the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the world and reported over 50,000 cases daily during the last seven days.
The US Open, which is due to start on August 31, will be held without spectators, and organisers are planning to set up a strict bio-security “bubble” around the tournament to mitigate the risk of contracting the virus.
Regulations imposed on attendees include designated hotels for players and their staff rather than renting houses or apartments, mandatory mask-wearing outside of training or playing, and coronavirus tests on arrival for everyone, with no entry permitted to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre until their status is proved negative.
“Four or five weeks ago, we were pretty sceptical about it [the tournament taking place],” Murray said. “But mentally at some stage you need to start preparing and planning for that.
“If it wasn’t happening, my schedule for practising, my rehab, would all be a bit different. Mentally I’m planning for it to go ahead.”
Professional athletes are currently permitted entry to the US on an exemption that means they do not have to quarantine.
“The issue for us is the travel, so we’ll probably be a bit apprehensive getting over there,” Murray added. “Hopefully the US Open can go ahead… but if not, I’m also OK with that.
“It’s not like I’m saying it must go ahead. So long as it’s safe for the players then we need to try to get back to competing.”
Murray, a three-time Grand Slam singles winner, returned from a seven-month injury lay-off last month at the Battle of the Brits, an exhibition organised by his brother Jamie, with the second instalment taking place this week.