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Murray calls for sanctions if players break US Open COVID-19 protocols

Conor Breslin
Conor Breslin

19:51 31 Jul 2020

Andy Murray says players who break the COVID-19 protocols at the US Open should be penalised very severely.

Murray is due to travel to New York for the US Open in the next couple of weeks, with the event played at Flushing Meadows in September.

The rules regarding the safety of players has particularly been a topic of interest since the tennis governing bodies appear hesitant to enforce severe punishments.

There has also been controversy over World Women's No 1 Ashleigh Barty’s withdrawal from the competition.

The ATP has stated that strict protocols will be put in place to ensure the safety of the players, who will be expected not to break rules, stay at nearby hotels and not visit Manhattan.

The PGA Tour and NBA have seen incidents of players breaking health and safety rules and Murray has called for strict penalties on any tennis player doing so.

"I think the majority of players will stick to the rules, but it would be silly to expect nobody would break the rules and the protocols," he said.

"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 similar 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.”

US Open CEO, Stacey Allaster, previously avoided discussing punishments altogether by stressing the personal responsibility of players. “I have a lot of confidence in these professional athletes,” she said.

Murray will compete at the relocated Western & Southern Open before the US Open. He rejected the notion that the decisions of his colleagues could have some bearing on his own choices.

"Everyone will have different feelings on it, we're all individuals," he said.

"It is a difficult one because you don't know when the right time to start travelling would be, who do you l 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.”

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