Projected top seed and oddsmakers’ favorite Milos Raonic has withdrawn from this week’s Delray Beach Open, along with compatriot Vasek Pospisil. The pair of Canadians join a slew of competitors who've previously pulled out of the ATP 250 event, including 2008 champion Kei Nishikori, Dan Evans and most notably, Andy Murray.
“After much deliberation with my team, I’ve decided not to travel to play in Delray Beach,” Murray said last week in press release shared by the event. “Given the increase in COVID rates and the transatlantic flights involved, I want to minimize the risks ahead of the Australian Open. I’m really thankful for the understanding of the tournament and I look forward to playing there soon.”
It’s unclear what role the increasing COVID rates played in both Raonic and Pospisil’s decision to forgo the tournament, but as of Sunday, the state of Florida reported another 10,603 positive cases, marking the fifth straight reporting day of over 10,000 cases.
Three of the past five champions, Reilly Opelka (2020), Frances Tiafoe (2018) and Sam Querrey (2016), are still slated to play. As a result of the tournament's withdrawals, Sebastian Korda and Ivo Karlovic are among the competitors who moved into the main draw, selecting this event in favor of Australian Open qualifying in Doha. On Sunday, Ryan Harrison, Bjorn Fratangelo and Noah Rubin received main draw wild cards.