Yep, it was an April Fools. Thanks to those that played along. - Ed
Extraordinary rumours circulating around the pro tour suggest that Andy Murray’s absence from the ATP circuit this year is less down to a much-publicised hip injury and more a fear of flying.
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The ATP tour is an 11-month slog that pretty much follows the sun, from Australia in January to Europe in the spring and onto the American hardcourts in late summer.
To follow the circuit, regular aeroplane travel is an absolute necessity. However, it seems that the Scot’s last flight, to Melbourne in January, was a rocky affair that left him petrified of leaving the ground.
A source close to the Murray camp said, “We hit severe turbulence while flying over the Middle East. The aisle was a river of peanut-and-prosecco vomit. Andy swore he’d never get on a plane again.”
Murray took time out in Melbourne to have minor hip surgery. But finding himself stranded on the other side of the world, he then made his way home with an epic 32-day odyssey by freight ship to China, followed by the Trans-Siberian Railway to Moscow and a fast train to London.
The Scot, who’s filled in time this year playing with his daughter’s vast Hornby train set, has since vowed to stick to driveable events in Europe.
John Isner, who tonight faces off against Sasha Zverev in the Miami Masters final, said, “It’s an open secret in the locker room. Andy’s turned in his wings. The hip thing’s an elaborate cover.
“You just need to utter words like ‘long-haul’, ‘flaps’ or ‘baggage allowance’ and he heads straight for his Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable. As for being good over head, let’s not even go there."
Murray’s fans must be concerned that many ATP points will now be unavailable to the former world number one, while shares in NetJets yesterday fell to a new overnight low.