The fans have to be patient for the long-awaited duel between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. The two greats of the game were set to meet in the Madrid Masters round of 16 after 5 long years, but due to food poisoning, Murray had to pull out at the last moment and give Djokovic a walkover.
In an interview with Tennis Channel, Djokovic addressed the issue, praising Murray and calling him a great champion. He also recalled their previous meetings and referred to him as his biggest rival alongside Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Murray and Djokovic have all played in Grand Slam finals and the Serb recalled that their rivalry goes way back to junior tennis.
“Above all, Andy is a great champion. Someone I admire a lot, respect a lot. We’ve had some great encounters and different surfaces over the years and played finals in every Slam. He’s definitely the biggest rival I’ve ever had, along with Rafa and Roger. I think there’s something special about our rivalry that we’re the same age. I think there is only a month difference between our ages. We grew up together, the first game we played was in France U12.” said Djokovic.
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“Hopefully we’ll get a chance to play soon”: Novak Djokovic
Djokovic went on to say that Murray’s absence was a loss for tennis as the two played for the first time in over 5 years. He also hoped that they would soon get a chance to compete on the pitch.
“So we go back a long time and I’m very sorry for him that he couldn’t get on the pitch. It’s not great for the tournament, it is not good for our sport. Everyone was looking forward to this encounter because he hadn’t played for five years. But hopefully we’ll get a chance to play soon.” he said.
On the pitch, Djokovic will face Hubert Hurkacz in the quarterfinals on Friday and either Carlos Alcaraz or Rafael Nadal in the semifinals.
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https://firstsportz.com/he-definitely-is-next-to-rafa-and-roger-the-greatest-rival-i-ever-had-novak-djokovic-sympathizes-with-andy-murray-for-pulling-out-ahead-of-epic-showdown-in-madrid/ “He’s definitely the biggest rival I’ve ever had, alongside Rafa and Roger,” Novak Djokovic sympathizes with Andy Murray, who withdrew before the “epic” showdown in Madrid