Thursday, January 21

Andy Murray asks ATP Tour to create a domestic abuse policy | Sport

Andy Murray says the Association of Tennis Professionals, which governs the men’s game, should take domestic abuse cases like the one that has plagued Alexander Zverev for the past month “extremely seriously.”

The German world number 7, who lost to eventual champion Daniil Medevev and world number 1 Novak Djokovic at the ATP Tour Finals in London last week, denied almost daily Olya Sharypova’s claims that he had abused her during their long relationship. .

“I don’t know how long it was, but it certainly wasn’t immediate,” Murray said of the ATP statement on November 13, two weeks after Sharypova’s claims were made public in the Russian media. “But I’ve read a few things and obviously tennis does not have a domestic abuse policy. That is something that we as a sport should be looking at, so that the ATP knows what to do in that situation, rather than having to think and react to it. They can be a bit more proactive in a situation like that. They have to take it very seriously and see what they get in the next few months. “

The ATP statement condemned “any form of violence or abuse” and added: “We expect all Tour members to do the same and refrain from any conduct that is violent, abusive or that puts others at risk.” A review would only follow legal investigation and “due process,” the statement said. So far, Sharypova and Zverev have refused to seek legal advice.

Andy Murray runs AMC, a premium tennis apparel brand, created and designed by Andy and Castore.

Andy Murray runs AMC, a premium tennis apparel brand, created and designed by Andy and Castore. Photography: Ross Woodhall

Murray, who has not played since a disappointing loss to Fernando Verdasco in Cologne last month, said in an extensive interview that he hoped players would be willing to get vaccinated against coronavirus before tournaments so the Tour can “get back to normal. “.

He added: “I hope all the players are willing to do that for the good of the sport, as long as everything has proven to be safe, [with] clinical trials conducted and no significant side effects. From what I’ve heard on TV and in the news, there really shouldn’t be any long-term effects. “

Regarding Djokovic’s reluctance to get vaccinated, Murray said: “I read a few weeks after he said he wouldn’t want to do it that if it was something I had to do so that he could play the sport, he would do it.”

Andy Murray poses with his gold medal after beating Juan Martín del Potro

Andy Murray poses with his gold medal after beating Juan Martín del Potro at the 2016 Olympics. He hopes to compete in next year’s Games in Tokyo. Photograph: Ian MacNicol / Getty Images

Murray, who trains and bats almost every day at the National Tennis Center in Roehampton, admits he has work to do to get into acceptable match fitness at age 33, but has not experienced pain from the psoas muscle injury. on the hip that hit him at the US Open. in September.

“I started practicing two weeks ago. I’ve been doing a lot of work in the gym, trying to build to break all my personal records, which has been quite exciting for me. I am really motivated. The only thing that may not reach the same level is speed. But I hope that by improving my strength and my power that will help me to be a little faster on the court. There is no reason why you can’t go back to what you were before. And that was probably not the case in the last year. I feel good.”

Murray says he has heard that the Australian Open, scheduled to start on January 18, could be postponed for “a couple of weeks”, not delayed later in February or March, as reported there last week, because then it would increase. against US hard court tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami.

“I don’t think that works for the sport, as there are two big tournaments in March. The best scenario now is to delay it a couple of weeks. That would allow players to get there in early January and properly prepare for the event. I’ll go as soon as I can. “

The Victorian government has yet to decide whether players should be quarantined without playing tournaments or practicing for 14 days, although they couldn’t get there before January 1. Murray says it’s a problem that needs to be solved.

“It would be complicated. Many players come from very cold climates. Asking them to play in 35, 36 degrees heat without preparation for a match only increases the risk of injury, and possibly the quality of the tennis will not be as high. It wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me. It just makes it a little more difficult. “

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Meanwhile, he awaits Christmas with his wife, Kim, and their children at their home in Surrey.

“I had originally planned not to be around for Christmas when we thought we would have to be out on December 15th. So that’s one of the positives of a delay. Not being able to see their extended families is difficult at that time of year, but if that’s what we have to do to keep everyone safe for now, it’s probably worth it. “

Murray’s return in 2020 was uneven, but he believes he can get back into the big tournaments. “If I’m in shape, I will. I have not forgotten how to play tennis. I know that I will perform and win great games if I can stay fit and healthy for a long period of time. “

An important goal in 2021 for the two-time Olympic gold medalist is to go to the postponed Tokyo Games. “I would love to compete in the Olympics again. That would be huge for me, one of the top priorities for the year. And I would love to play at Wimbledon again, the same as the Aussie Open, and then if I’m fit and well, I’d be excited to go and try and win another medal in Tokyo. “

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