Murray withdraws from Djokovic clash in Madrid

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Andy Murray has withdrawn ahead of his match against Novak Djokovic in the round-of-16 at the Madrid Open on Thursday, citing an illness.

Three-times major winner Murray was set to face Djokovic for the 37th time in a highly anticipated clash on clay at the ATP Masters 1000 event in the Spanish capital.

“Unfortunately, Andy Murray is unable to take to the Manolo Santana Stadium due to illness,” tournament organisers said in a statement on social media.

“Instead, Andrey Rublev and Daniel Evans will open the day’s play on centre court.”

Djokovic advances to the quarterfinals with a walkover victory where he will face the winner of Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz and Dusan Lajovic.

Murray, who had earlier said he would skip the claycourt season in order to protect his fitness, accepted a late wildcard in Madrid and beat Dominic Thiem and Denis Shapovalov in his opening two matches.

Information from Reuters contributed to this report.

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