Canadian Milos Raonic withdraws from Rio Olympics

With a heavy heart, Milos Raonic has made the very difficult personal choice not to attend the Rio Olympics, citing various health concerns.

Canadian tennis star Milos Raonic won’t be participating in this summer’s Olympic Games.

The product of Thornhill, Ont., announced on Friday his decision to not participate in the Rio Games amid health concerns.

"It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing my withdrawal from participation in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games," he said on his Facebook page. "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.

"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."

Raonic, ranked No. 7 in the world, isn’t the first high-profile athlete to withdraw from the Games amid concerns about the Zika virus. Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott were among a host of golfers to decide against competing because of health concerns.

"We fully respect Milos’ decision as we are sure this is not one he made easily," Tennis Canada president and CEO Kelly Murumets said in a statement. "Milos represents Canada proudly week after week around the world and we look forward to future opportunities for him to join Team Canada again on the court."

Tennis Canada said, pending invitation by the International Tennis Federation and Canadian Olympic Committee approval, it will nominate veteran Daniel Nestor of Toronto to replace Raonic in the men’s doubles draw to partner with Vasek Pospisil of Vancouver.

On Sunday, the 25-year-old Raonic lost to Britain’s Andy Murray in straight sets in the men’s Wimbledon final. Raonic defeated Swiss star Roger Federer in a five-set semifinal match to become the first Canadian to reach the men’s final.

In the fourth round, Raonic rallied from a two-set deficit to beat Belgium’s David Goffin and advance to the quarter-finals, where he beat Sam Querrey in four sets.

Raonic’s Wimbledon final appearance was the best-ever singles performance by a male Canadian tennis player at a Grand Slam tournament.

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