27 Feb 2009

Murray out of Dubai Championship

6:13 am on 27 February 2009

The British tennis player Andy Murray has been forced out of the Dubai Championships with a virus.

The second seed, who has been feeling unwell since the Australian Open, withdrew before his quarter-final against Richard Gasquet, giving the Frenchman a walkover into the last four.

Third-seeded Gille Simon's 7-6 6-1 win brought down the curtain on the 17-year record of fellow Frenchman Fabrice Santoro at the event.

The match was followed by an on-court ceremony during which Santoro was given a model of a traditional Arabian dhow.

Set to retire at the Paris Masters at the end of this season, the 36-year-old Santoro reached the final of the first Dubai Championships in 1993 and won a remarkable final 10 years later when he rose from his sick bed to defeat Younes El Aynaoui.

Gasquet goes on to face fourth seed David Ferrer in the semi-finals after the Spaniard beat Russian Igor Andreev.

Simon faces top seed Novak Djokovic.