Andy Murray has withdrawn from his Madrid Open match against Novak Djokovic due to sickness. On Thursday, the Briton was due to compete in the tournament’s third round. Murray defeated Dominic Thiem, the 2020 US Open champion, in the first round of the tournament before defeating Denis Shapovalov of Canada. The 34-year-old Scot had planned to skip the clay-court season, but after accepting a wildcard for the Spanish tournament last month, he changed his mind.
“Unfortunately, Andy Murray is unable to take to the Manolo Santana Stadium due to illness,” a statement from the organisers of the 2022 Madrid Open read. “We wish you a speedy recovery, Andy Murray,” it added. Murray, who is ranked 78th in the world, described his last-16 encounter against Djokovic as a “great opportunity” to play against the world no. 1 on a big court in a major tournament. They’ve known each other since childhood and have faced each other 36 times in their professional lives.
Andrey Rublev won his third tour-level title of the season on Sunday, defeating World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and a boisterous Serbian crowd to win the Serbia Open for the first time. At the ATP 250 clay-court event, the second seed dug deep against Djokovic, hitting with relentless power and intensity to outlast the home favourite 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-0. The 24-year-old saved five set points in the second set to force a tie-break, and while he couldn’t stop Djokovic from tying the match, Rublev regrouped in the decider, looking the fitter of the two, to win after two hours and 29 minutes.
“It is big to play against you and share the court for the second time,” Rublev said to Djokovic during the trophy ceremony. “I hope we have more battles. I feel so great here, it is a very nice city. It feels really special. I want to say a big thanks to all the spectators for supporting all the players all week. To see full crowds again is special for all of us.”
Djokovic was playing in his third tournament of the season, and he was attempting to win his first title of the year against Rublev. The 34-year-old battled past Laslo Djere, Miomir Kecmanovic, and Karen Khachanov in three sets as he worked his way back into form after losing in the quarterfinals in Dubai and a shock second-round loss in Monte Carlo to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. However, the top seed’s time on the court against Rublev eventually caught up with him.