MADRID (AP) — Andy Murray withdrew from his showdown against Novak Djokovic at the Madrid Open on Thursday because of illness.
The announcement came not long before Murray was scheduled to take the court against the top-ranked Djokovic in the third round.
It would have been the first time Murray and Djokovic played against each other since Djokovic won the Doha final in 2017.
Murray had won his first two matches in Madrid, defeating Dominic Thiem and Denis Shapovalov. The former No. 1 hadn't won consecutive matches since January and hadn't played in a clay-court tournament in nearly two years.
Ranked 78th in the world, the 34-year-old Murray has been making his way up the rankings since having hip surgery in both 2018 and 2019. He had arrived in Madrid with a 10-8 record in eight tournaments. He lost the Sydney final to Aslan Karatsev in January.