Tennis stars Milos Raonic and Simona Halep have withdrawn from the upcoming 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil over fears over the Zika virus. Raonic who reached the finals of the recently concluded 2016 Wimbledon Championships is the highest ranked tennis star to withdraw from the summer games.
Halep, who is currently ranked fifth in the world, reached the final of the 2014 French Open, losing to eventual winner Maria Sharapova. While Raonic is the current world number seven, she recently made waves at SW19 only to lose in the final to
While Raonic is the current world number seven, she recently made waves at SW19 only to lose in the final to crowd favourite Andy Murray.
"It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing my withdrawal from participation in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. After much deliberation with my family and coaches, I am making this decision for a variety of health concerns, including the uncertainty around the Zika virus," he said, as quoted by Irish Examiner.
"This was a difficult, personal choice and I do not wish for it to impact the decision of any other athlete heading to the games. I would like to thank Tennis Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee for their ongoing support. I am 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," he added further.
Raonic is the latest among a number of leading tennis players who have decided to skip the Olympic Games. Dominic Thiem, John Isner, Nick Kyrgios, Bernard Tomic, Feliciano Lopez and Sam Querrey will all miss the world sporting event. None have cited the Zika virus as the reason for their withdrawals.
Some of tennis's superstars have confirmed they will be attending the Olympics. Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams have will be travelling to Rio de Janeiro for the summer games.