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Djokovic into Madrid quarters after Murray pulls out with illness

The pair had been due to play each other for the first time since 2017

Novak Djokovic Madrid Alterphotos/Panoramic

Novak Djokovic enjoyed a more comfortable passage into the quarter-finals of the Madrid Masters than he would have expected on Thursday after his opponent, Andy Murray, pulled out shortly before the start due to illness.

The pair had been due to play each other for the first time since 2017 after former world No 1 Murray, showing huge improvement despite his metal hip, beat Dominic Thiem and Denis Shapovalov to reach the third round in Madrid.

Djokovic is chasing his first title of 2022, having missed the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami due to his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

The world No 1 will now meet the winner of the match between Hubert Hurkacz and Dusan Lajovic. Murray has said he may take a wildcard into next week’s Rome Masters.

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