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Andy Murray pulls out of Novak Djokovic clash in Madrid due to illness

Tournament organisers announce Murray unable to take to the court for third round match at Madrid Open.

Andy Murray pulls out of Novak Djokovic clash at the Madrid Open due to illness SNS Group
Andy Murray was set to face Novak Djokovic for the first time in five years.

Andy Murray has pulled out of his third round clash against Novak Djokovic at the Madrid Open due to illness.

Murray overcame world number 14 Denis Shapovalov 6-1 3-6 6-2 in two hours and nine minutes in the second round to set up a last-16 match against old foe and world number one Djokovic.

But the tournament organisers announced on Thursday that Murray would be unable to take to the court at the Manolo Santana Stadium.

Murray marked his return to clay for the first time in two years in Madrid with a straight-sets win against Dominic Thiem in the first round of the tournament earlier this week.

The Scot reversed his decision to skip the entire clay-court season after being handed a wild card for Madrid and spent four weeks training on the surface.

Murray has not played Djokovic since the Qatar Open in January 2017, when the Briton was world number one. The Serbian won in three sets.

Before Murray’s withdrawal, Djokovic commended the Scot on his determination to return to form after twice undergoing hip surgery – first in 2018 and then again in 2019 when his pain persisted.