Andy Murray out of Novak Djokovic match at Madrid Open with illness

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Andy Murray will not take to the court for his last-16 match against Novak Djokovic, after falling ill at the Madrid Open.

The British 34-year-old beat Dominic Thiem in the first round and Denis Shapovalov in the second to book his spot against the world No1, but the Serbian will now receive a bye to the quarters with Murray dropping out.

While the nature of Murray’s illness is unspecified, the news of his withdrawal comes only an hour or so before he was due to take to the court.

Fellow Brit Dan Evans will instead open the day’s action on centre court, with his tie against Andrey Rublev.

Murray and Djokovic have had a long history on the court, meeting 36 times all told - but this was due to be their first clash in five years.

Having been handed a wildcard entry for the Madrid Open, Murray had looked in good shape earlier in the competition and was looking forward to renewing rivalries with Djokovic, such as they are, though he had conceded there was now a huge gap between the pair after suffering several injury issues.

Watch: 'He's world number one and I'm playing with a metal hip!' - Murray on Djokovic clash

“He’s the world number one and I’ve got a metal hip,” Murray told Amazon Prime after his second-round victory.

“I didn’t know I’d get opportunities to play matches like this again. In theory I shouldn’t have a chance in the match.

“But I’ve worked my hardest, put myself in a great position and it’s a fantastic opportunity to play against him again on a big court in a huge tournament.”

Though missing out will be a disappointment, the positive for Murray will presumably be the fact it’s illness, rather than an injury recurrence, which has thwarted him on this occasion.

Murray has pledged to donate his prize money from this season to the humanitarian relief fund for Ukraine, while he also spoke out to say he is “not supportive” of banning Russian and Belarusian players from Wimbledon.

Djokovic will face either Hubert Hurkacz or Dusan Lajovic in the last eight.

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