Rio 2016: Tomas Berdych announces his withdrawal from the Olympics

Tomas Berdych is the latest casualty to withdraw from the Rio Olympics, which is taking place next month due to fears of the Zika virus. The Czech is the third tennis player to announce their withdrawal from the tournament due to the  dangerous virus.

Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic and former French Open finalist Simona Halep announced their withdrawals yesterday.

Berdych reached the semifinals of Wimbledon for the first time since he reached the final at the All England Club back in 2010 but he was soundly beaten in straight sets by the eventual champion Andy Murray.

Berdych announces his withdrawal from the Olympics

The world number eight confirmed his withdrawal on his social media page on Facebook, earlier today and this is what he had to say.

"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 need to give at least one of the serious reasons leading to this step to my supporters and fans."

The Czech added, " 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 my 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."

The Czech's Olympic history

Berdych in Gentlemen's semifinal action against Andy Murray at Wimbledon  (Photo by Clive Brunskill / Source : Getty Images)
Berdych in Gentlemen's semifinal action against Andy Murray at Wimbledon (Photo by Clive Brunskill / Source : Getty Images)

Berdych has represented the Czech Republic at the Olympic Games on three occasions in Athens in 2004, Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012 held at Wimbledon.

The tall Czech's best finish at the Olympics was on his debut in 2004 when he reached the quarterfinals, and he was ranked 74th at the time and he beat Germany's Florian Mayer in the first round.

In the second round, he produced the shock of the tournament when he defeated the reigning world number one Roger Federer, followed by a win over the 15th seeded Spaniard Tommy Robredo, however, his progress was halted by American Taylor Dent, who has the honour of performing the fastest serve at Wimbledon at 148 mph.

In Beijing, Berdych was promoted to being, seeded 17th as Ivo Karlovic, scheduled to be seeded 14th withdrew from the tournament due to illness.

The Czech defeated China's Yu Xinyuan in the first round, Andreas Seppi in the second round and Federer gained his revenge, as he lost to Berdych at the previous Olympics but the Swiss maestro flipped the script and recorded a straight sets win.

Berdych competed at the last Olympics in London but he fell in straight sets to Steve Darcis.

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