Andy Murray has decided that he won’t play singles during the Battle of the Brits Team event this week at the NTC in Roehampton.
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 Andy Murray
His main concern is the US Open and he is preparing himself mentally to prepare for it – should it be finally confirmed it will take place as scheduled on August 31st.
Bearing in mind the recent cancelation of Washington and the rising numbers of people affected by the coronavirus virus n the US, a decision as to whether the American leg of the season’s grand slams will go ahead is expected this week.
Murray is determined to play despite concerns about travelling to New York; concerns which are shared by a number of top players like Rafa Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Nick Kyrgios and David Goffin.
“Four or five weeks ago, we were pretty sceptical about it but mentally at some stage you need to start preparing and planning for that,” the former world No.1 said having only recently returned to competitive play earlier this month at the Battle of the Brits where he reached the last four following a seven-month lay-off.
“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.”
“The issue for us is the travel, so we’ll probably be a bit apprehensive getting over there.
“Hopefully the U.S. 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.”
Meanwhile Johanna Konta, who is also participating at this week’s team event in Roehampton, is considering pulling out of next week’s Palermo Open, which is being played on clay, to prepare herself for the US Open’s hardcourts.
The star attraction at the Sicilian capital would have been Simona Halep, the world No.2, but she has now pulled out following the announcement of the quarantine restrictions implement by the Italians on travellers from Romania and Bulgaria.
“We found out with great bitterness the decision of the world number two to cancel her participation,” the tournament’s director Oliviero Palma said in a statement.
The organisers had had applied for exemption for tennis players taking part in the event.
“Yesterday we were optimistic, and we had informed Halep’s staff about the fact that professional players are not obliged to quarantine,” Palma said, adding that the Romanian’s team only responded to tell him that she was withdrawing. “We are embittered and profoundly disappointed.”
Halep confirmed her withdrawal via Twitter: “Given the recent rise in Covid-19 cases in Romania and my anxieties around international air travel at this time, I have made the tough decision to withdraw from Palermo.”
“I want to thank the tournament director and the Italian ministry of health for all their efforts on my behalf and I wish the tournament a successful week.”
Halep, the reigning Wimbledon champion and 2018 French Open winner, will now return to the professional tour at the Prague Open, scheduled to start on August 10 but still remains one of the players who is undecided whether to travel to the US.