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Berdych joins fellow top 10 player Raonic in Rio pullout

Europe
Von unserem dpa-Korrespondenten und Europe Online   auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Toronto (dpa) - Tomas Berdych on Saturday joined fellow ATP top 10 player Milos Raonic in withdrawing from the Rio Games due to fears over the Zika virus.

Wimbledon finalist Raonic announced a day earlier that he would not compete due to the disease.

Others who have opted to skip the games include John Isner and Sam Querrey from the United States and the Australian pair Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios.

WTA number five Simona Halep confirmed that she would not be going to the Games due to the possibility of contracting the mosquito-borne illness which can lead to birth defects.

"The reason for my decision is the concern regarding the danger posed by the Zika virus," Halep posted on Facebook. "After several talks with doctors and my family, I concluded that the risks are too high for my career and for my health, especially as a woman.

"Family is much too important for me and I can‘t risk not being able to have one of my own after my career in tennis is over."

Berdych said that while his plan may disappoint fans, "it‘s a personal decision and I feel the need to give at least one of the serious reasons leading to this step.

"As I have started a family (recently married), to limit health risks toward my nearest is the upmost priority. I have done this out of responsibility to my family."

Raonic, called his move "a difficult, personal choice and I do not wish for it to impact the decision of any other athlete heading to the Games.

"I‘m very proud to have competed for Canada at the London 2012 Summer Olympics, and on the world stage at several Davis Cup events. I look forward to cheering on Team Canada this summer."

Canada chose veteran Daniel Nestor to play doubles in place of Raonic alongside partner Vasek Pospisil.

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