ANDY MURRAY has been forced to pull out of today's third round Madrid Open clash against Novak Djokovic due to illness.

The pair were set to clash for the first time in five years at the Spanish ATP tournament, but now the Serbian has been given a bye into the next round.

It is another unfortunate blow for the former world number one, who defeated Denis Shapovalov on Tuesday for one of the best wins of his comeback and had been looking forward to a first clash with his long-time rival for more than five years.

A post on the tournament’s Twitter feed read: “Unfortunately, Andy Murray is unable to take to the Manolo Santana Stadium due to illness. We wish you a speedy recovery Andy Murray!”

Murray was relishing a rare meeting with Djokovic as the pair have known each other since they were children and faced off 36 times in their professional careers.

“He’s the world number one and I’ve got a metal hip,” Murray told Amazon Prime.

“I didn’t know I’d get opportunities to play matches like this again. In theory I shouldn’t have a chance in the match.

“But I’ve worked my hardest, put myself in a great position and it’s a fantastic opportunity to play against him again on a big court in a huge tournament.”