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Andy Murray, Stevie Johnson, and Joao Sousa are Latest Players to Withdraw from 2021 Australian Open

Andy Murray has officially pulled out of the Australian Open.

By Ricky Dimon

Steve Johnson withdrew from the Australian Open on Monday, citing personal reasons. According to reports, the coronavirus is not to blame. Johnson’s first child was born on Dec. 31 of 2020, so he may be opting for family time instead–unwilling to stay Down Under for the long haul.

Johnson will be replaced in the main draw by lucky loser Mikael Torpegaard. Both Johnson and Torpegaard are former college stars–Johnson at USC and Torpegaard at Ohio State.

The 26-year-old Finn advanced two rounds in Aussie Open qualifying before a loss to promising 20-year-old Czech Tomas Machac, seemingly ending his tournament hopes. Thanks to Johnson’s withdrawal, however, this will be Torpegaard’s first appearance in the main draw of a slam.

Andy Murray won’t be part of the festivities after testing positive for Covid-19 last week. The 33-year-old has been asymptomatic and had been holding out hope to make his way to Melbourne in time for some sort of quarantine before the tournament. But it won’t be happening.

“Gutted to share that I won’t be flying out to Australia to compete at the Australian Open,” Murray stated. “We’ve been in constant dialogue with Tennis Australia to try and find a solution which would allow some form of workable quarantine, but we couldn’t make it work. I want to thank everyone there for their efforts, I’m devastated not to be playing out in Australia. It’s a country and tournament that I love.”

Joao Sousa did not make the trip to Melbourne

Joao Sousa is also out after testing positive for Covid-19. He later returned a negative test and was asymptomatic but had already missed the necessary flights to Melbourne.

“Even though I already tested negative and have no symptoms, due to the strict rules of the Australian government, I won’t be able to travel,” the Portuguese veteran posted on Instagram this past Saturday.

Cedrik-Marcel Stebe will replace Sousa in the main draw.

Ricky contributes to10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.