Murray withdraws from Madrid clash with Djokovic through illness

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Andy Murray has withdrawn from the Madrid Open through illness, having been due to play old rival Novak Djokovic on Thursday.

Murray and Djokovic first faced off on the ATP Tour in Madrid 16 years ago and had been set to clash again in the last 16 after the Briton beat Dominic Thiem followed by Denis Shapovalov at the ATP 1000 event, where the world number one eased past Gael Monfils.

However, the Madrid Open confirmed on its Twitter page on Thursday that Murray would be unable to compete "due to illness", meaning Andrey Rublev and Dan Evans are to instead open the day's play on centre court.

The Serbian, who has a 25-11 record against Murray, will now face the winner of Hubert Hurkacz and Dusan Lajovic in the quarter-final after being given a walkover.

After his win against Shapovalov, Murray was excited about the prospect of locking horns with Djokovic again, saying: "In theory I should have no chance in the match. He's obviously number one in the world [and] I'm playing with a metal hip, so I shouldn't have a chance in the match.

"We've had so many great battles over the years in some of the biggest tournaments in the world. We played in the final I think of all four grand slams, we played here in the final, and I haven't had that opportunity to play against him for a long time."

Sadly for Murray, and tennis fans, that wait will have to go on for a bit longer.

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