Andy Murray’s showdown with Novak Djokovic at Madrid Open off as Scot withdraws

Andy Murray

Episode 37 of the Novak Djokovic-Andy Murray rivalry will have to wait after the latter withdrew from their match at the Madrid Open due to illness.

The pair were due to meet in the third round of the ATP Masters 1000 event on Thursday, but an hour before the start of the clash organisers confirmed that the Scot was unable to play due to an unspecified illness.

“Unfortunately, Andy Murray is unable to take to the Manolo Santana Stadium due to illness 😔 We wish you a speedy recovery, @andy_murray! 😘,” the Tweet stated.

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

Murray has produced his best tennis in recent months at the Madrid Open as it was the first time he had won back-to-back matches since the Sydney International in January.

The former world No 1 beat Dominic Thiem, who is still nursing his way back following a long injury layoff, in the first round and followed it up with a three-set defeat of 14th seed Denis Shapovalov.

Djokovic, meanwhile, is playing in only his third tournament since February and he beat Gael Monfils in his opener on Tuesday.

The world No 1 gets a walkover into the quarter-final where he will face either 12th seed Hubert Hurkacz from Poland or his fellow Serbian Dusan Lajovic.