Berdych withdraws from Olympics due to Zika


World number eight Tomas Berdych will miss the Olympic Games in Rio due to concerns over the Zika virus.

Berdych, beaten by Andy Murray in the semi-finals at Wimbledon last week, was due to represent the Czech Republic in Brazil next month.

However, the 30-year-old revealed on Saturday that he will not feature in the Games due to uncertainty over the mosquito-borne Zika virus, which has been linked to severe defects in newborn babies.

He posted on Facebook: "I am very sorry to announce that I will not take part in this year's Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. It was a hard decision for me to take after a long and painstaking discussion with my dearest.

"It's purely my personal decision but I still feel a need to give at least one of the serious reasons leading to this step to my supporters and fans.

"It is because of the Zika virus spread in the country of the Olympics. As I have founded a family recently to limit health risks towards my nearest is the utmost priority.

"I apologize to all of you who are disappointed by my decision. I do believe that if you take a deeper account of my reasons you will understand that I have done it out of the responsibility for my family.

"I wish the Czech team a big success and I hope that I will soon be honored to defend the Czech national colors again.

Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic also pulled out of the Games on Friday due to a variety of health concerns, including Zika, and Simona Halep became the first high-profile female tennis player to withdraw due to the virus.