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Veteran tennis star Andy Murray is already a winner this week at the BNP Paribas Open even without lifting a racket.
Murray announced on his social media Tuesday that he is donating all of his winnings the rest of the year to UNICEF and its humanitarian aid for children in the Ukraine.
I’m going to be donating my earnings from my prize money for the rest of the year, but anyone in the UK can support UNICEF’s humanitarian response by donating to our appeal by following this link - https://t.co/Z2mNGQ3xh8
Children in Ukraine need peace - now. 🇺🇦 🙏
— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) March 8, 2022
In a Twitter thread, Murray said: "Over 7.5m children are at risk with the escalating conflict in Ukraine, so I’m working with @UNICEF_uk to help provide urgent medical supplies and early childhood development kits. It’s vital education continues, so UNICEF is working to enable access to learning for displaced children, as well as supporting the rehabilitation of damaged schools, together with replacement equipment and furniture."
Murray is one of the most decorated players in recent years, having won three majors and reaching the No. 1 ranking in 2016. He is in Indian Wells as a wild card at this event and is preparing for his opening-round match which will be Thursday or Friday.
Top seed in women's field withdraws
The world's No. 2-ranked player and top seed at the BNP Paribas Open, Barbora Krejcikova, has withdrawn from the tournament with an elbow injury.
"I am extremely disappointed and sad to withdraw from the BNP Paribas Open," said Krejcikova, a Czech star. "I was looking forward to playing in Indian Wells very much but unfortunately I won't be able to do so this year. I have had a pain in my arm on and off since Doha which today intensified overnight and together with my team I had to make a very tough decision to withdraw. I will focus on getting the right treatment as soon as possible and I hope I can be back on the court soonest."
As the next player in line to be seeded, Alize Cornet of France will move into Krejcikova's space in the draw, and a "Lucky Loser" from qualifying will move into Cornet's space in the draw once qualifying is complete.
The world's No. 1-ranked player, Ash Barty, chose not to play at Indian Wells as she recovers from a taxing Australian Open run.
Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus is now the top-ranked player in the field.
Zverev not suspended ... kinda
The punishment for German star Alexander Zverev, the No. 3-ranked player in the world, came down Monday, and it did not include a suspension that would knock him out of the BNP Paribas Open.
Zverev avoided immediate ban for repeatedly hitting the umpire's chair with his racket during the Mexican Open in Acapulco last month. Instead, he was fined $25,000 by the ATP and put on probation for a year and suspended for eight weeks. The eight-week suspension will go into effect on Feb. 22, 2023 after his probationary year. It will be wiped away if he goes the full year without another incident.
Dominic Thiem out with injury
The 2019 BNP Paribas Open champion will not be in the field this year, announcing Monday that his injured wrist has healed but he's not in form to play in Indian Wells or Miami. He injured his wrist in June and has not played since.
“I (have) had really good practice weeks,” Thiem said on Instagram. “The wrist is perfectly fine and the hand is getting better and better, but I have still decided to pull out of Indian Wells and Miami to start on the clay courts. It is still the surface I feel the most comfortable (on), so I think it is the perfect time to start there. I would have loved to play in the States and I am really sorry for my fans. Last time I played in Indian Wells I won the tournament so I love to play in the States and I can’t wait to be back soon.”
Thiem's withdrawal means that neither singles champion at the BNP Paribas Open the last time it was played in March will be in the field. Women's 2019 winner Bianca Andreescu is not in the field as she continues to take a break from competition.
Shad Powers is a columnist for The Desert Sun. Reach him at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: Andy Murray to donate his earnings for entire year to children of Ukraine