Tennis

Murray Withdraws From Madrid – Djokovic Walkover

In quite literally the last hour or so, Andy Murray has withdrawn from the Madrid Masters. After beating Shapovalov a few days ago, fans were ecstatic at the prospect of another Murray vs Djokovic clash. The match would’ve been the 37th meeting between the pair on the ATP Tour, and I have a feeling it would have been tighter than many fans were thinking. However, it wasn’t meant to be, as Murray has announced that he won’t be playing in the match, scheduled for this morning.

The reason for the withdrawal, according to tournament organizers, is an ‘unspecified illness’. Who’s to say really what that could mean, but facts are facts, and Andy Murray will not be taking to the court in Madrid this morning. On a more positive note, Murray fans can feel somewhat more comfortable in knowing that the withdrawal has come from an illness and not a recurrence of any injuries. 

And now, since the news has broken, I’d like to share a few thoughts on what this withdrawal might mean for the pair moving forward.

Murray’s Madrid Withdrawal – The Broader Impact

As sad as we are that we won’t get to witness another Djokovic vs Murray battle, we must respect Murray’s wishes not to compete. He is a battler, and I am sure that he wouldn’t withdraw if he really wasn’t feeling up to it. But what does his withdrawal mean both for himself and Novak Djokovic in the imminent future?

Djokovic – Well Rested for QF and SF

It goes without saying that to win larger events such as Grand Slams and Masters, you have to be feeling fresh and ready to compete. In the last event that Djokovic competed in, Belgrade, his fitness seemed questionable. Sure, he had several three-set battles in a row. But his fitness certainly failed him when it came to the final. And now, with a walkover against Murray and more rest, he will no doubt be very fresh for the upcoming quarters.

Looking at the draw, Djokovic will play either Hurkacz or Lajovic. These are two guys who shouldn’t really cause him a ton of trouble on the dirt. But should he win the quarters, the big impact here relates to the semi-finals. He could play either Nadal or Alcaraz in the semis. And these guys could push him all the way. So the extra day of rest could well be significant here.

Murray – Question Marks Over Rome

At the time of writing, it hasn’t been announced as to what the illness has caused Murray to withdraw. Dare we say it, if it turns out to be COVID, he will certainly be missing the Rome Masters. However, if it’s some other illness, he could still be competing in Rome. But it all depends on the severity of his illness. Of course, it has already been deemed significant enough for Murray to pull out of the Djokovic match.

So really, we will all just need to sit tight and wait for further announcements from Murray and his team.

About the author

Gavin Davison

Gavin is a full-time copywriter based in the United Kingdom. He has previously played NCAA college tennis in the USA and competed in many international events throughout his younger days. He still plays competitively and follows both the ATP & WTA Tours closely. His favourite player is Roger Federer.

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