Andy Murray was unable to play Novak Djokovic in Madrid at lunchtime, leaving the Serb in the last eight. Andrey Rublev opened the round of 16 day, which also saw Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas advance a round. Rafael Nadal had to tremble.

Olympic champion Alexander Zverev has reached the quarter-finals of the ATP Masters tournament in Madrid in a hurry, benefiting from his opponent’s injury problems. Italian qualifier Lorenzo Musetti retired stricken after just 39 minutes on Thursday at 6-3, 1-0 to Zverev. The 25-year-old defending champion will now face Felix Auger-Aliassime in the round of the best eight, who very clearly eliminated Jannik Sinner from Italy – 6:1, 6:2 for the Canadian.

Zverev had struggled to open the 6.74-million-euro clay-court event, beating Croatian Marin Cilic 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Wednesday. Things went much quicker against the 20-year-old Musetti, who had surprisingly reached the last 16. In the first set, Zverev twice took the serve from his opponent, and after winning a service game to nil at the beginning of the second set, the world number three already received Musetti’s congratulations. Zverev immediately indicated to his coach Sergi Bruguera that he wanted to have another training session.

Murray unable to compete in tennis classic

Andy Murray was earlier unable to play the tennis classic against Novak Djokovic at the Masters 1000 tournament in Madrid due to illness. This was announced by the organisers of the clay court event on Thursday shortly before the scheduled round of 16 match between the Briton and the Serb. This means that Djokovic is through to the quarter-finals without a fight. The world number one will face Hubert Hurkacz of Poland, who defeated Djokovic’s compatriot Dusan Lajovic 7-5, 6-3.

Also through are Andrey Rublev (7-6, 7-5 against Daniel Evans) and Stefanos Tsitsipas (6-3, 6-4 against Grigor Dimitrov) – both will now meet each other directly in the next round.

Local hero Rafael Nadal had a surprisingly difficult time reaching the quarter-finals. The 21-time Grand Slam tournament winner from Spain beat David Goffin from Belgium 6-3, 5-7 and 7-6 (11-9).