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More tennis stars drop out of Rio Olympics over Zika concerns

Tomas Berdych, of the Czech Republic, wipes his face during his men's semifinal singles match against Andy Murray, of Britain, during day twelve of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, in a July 8, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Alastair Grant

PRAGUE, Czech Republic – Another top-10 tennis player, Tomas Berdych, withdrew from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics over concerns about the Zika virus on Saturday.

Hours later, another Czech, 16th-ranked Karolina Pliskova said she was withdrawing as well because of Zika.

READ MORE: Milos Raonic to skip Rio Olympics over Zika fears

Berdych, the Wimbledon semifinalist, said “it was a hard decision for me to take after a long and painstaking discussion” with family.

On Twitter, he said “to limit health risks towards my dearest is the utmost priority.”

The eighth-ranked Berdych apologized to those disappointed by his decision.

Pliskova revealed her decision to the local CTK news agency.

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READ MORE: Rio 2016: Is the Zika virus a public health risk or an Olympic-size overreaction?

Besides playing the singles, Berdych was expected to team with Radek Stepanek for the doubles at the Olympic tournament, while Pliskova was expected to form a pair with Lucie Safarova.

Their announcements came a day after Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic, and fifth-ranked Simona Halep on the women’s side, withdrew from Rio over Zika.

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