Raonic, Halep withdraw from Olympics over Zika fears

The big-serving Canadian, who was beaten in straight sets by Andy Murray in last weekend's final at the All England Club, was set to represent his country in Brazil.

Milos Raonic in action.

Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic and WTA World No. 5 Simona Halep have withdrawn from the Rio Olympics due to concerns over the Zika virus.

Raonic, big-serving Canadian, who was beaten in straight sets by Andy Murray in last weekend's final at the All England Club, was set to represent his country in Brazil. However, Raonic announced via Facebook that he was pulling out of the Games after consulting with coaches and family, citing concerns over the mosquito-borne Zika virus, which has been linked to severe birth defects. 

"It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing my withdrawal from participation in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games," Raonic wrote. "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 and Halep are the highest profile names to have pulled out of the tennis tournament in Brazil due to concerns over Zika. Nick Kyrgios is absent from Rio following arguments with Australian Olympic Committee, while John Isner said he will not represent United States due to scheduling conflicts.

Agencies add:

Halep also announced her decision via Facebook: "I regret to announce that I have decided I will not compete in the Olympic Games. The reason for my decision is the concern regarding the danger posed by the Zika virus," wrote Halep.

"After several talks with doctors and my family, I concluded that the risks are too high for my career and for my health, especially as a woman. Family is much too important for me and I can't risk not being able to have one of my own after my career in tennis is over."