Touching tributes are pouring in for Andy Murray, who just announced his retirement from tennis in a tearful press conference
AP Photo / Mark Baker
- Sir Andy Murray is stepping away from the world of tennis.
- The former world No. 1 announced on Friday that he would be retiring at Wimbledon this summer, if not sooner.
- The Brit has been plagued by a hip injury for nearly two years and, in an emotional press conference, he admitted that the constant pain was becoming too much.
- Tributes have poured in from tennis stars past and present who praised Murray for his ability on-court, his regimented devotion off it, and his voice for gender equality.
- The most touching tribute of all came from tennis 'bad boy' Nick Kyrgios who struck up an unlikely friendship with Murray, who he said is like an older brother to him.
"I've been struggling for a long time," Sir Andy Murray said in a press in Melbourne, Australia on Friday.
"I've been in a lot of pain for... it's been about 20 months now."
Thus began Murray's tearful resignation from the world of tennis, where he has been on the podium of giants like Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, for much of the past decade.
The former world No. 1 announced that this year's Australian Open may be the last tournament of his career as he continues to suffer with a hip injury that has plagued him for nearly two years.
Murray said he would like to end his career in the place where he put a stop to a 76-year Grand Slam drought for British men's singles players - at Wimbledon - though, he's not sure it will be possible.
"I said to my team I can get through this until Wimbledon, that's where I would like to stop playing. But I'm also not certain that I'm able to do that," Murray said.
The announcement was an emotional one, and one that has rocked the world of tennis. Unsurprisingly, tributes have poured in from players past and present and those in the media who had the chance to follow Murray on tour.
Perhaps the most touching tribute of all came from tennis "bad boy" Nick Kyrgios who has often made headlines for his fiery temper and lack of discipline.
In an Instagram reel filled with photos of the pair, Kyrgios captioned the post: "Andy, I know you take me for a joker most of the time, but at least hear me out on this one old friend.
"You will always be someone that impacted the sport in so many different ways, I know this was never the way you wanted to go out, but hey it was a heck of a ride. You took me under your wing as soon as I got on tour, and to this day you have been someone I literally just look forward to seeing.
"You are one crazy tennis player, miles better than me, but I just want you to know that today isn't only a sad day for you and your team, it's a sad day for the sport and for everyone you've had an impact on. Which leaves me big fella.. these are a couple photos, that should make you smile and think, I was actually a little bit of a younger brother to you.
"Anyways, I just want you to know, and I'm sure you already do, everyone wants you to keep fighting and to keep being you. Goodluck at the Australian Open muzz, I'll be behind you."
Juan Martin Del Potro, meanwhile, urged the Scot not to give up.
"Andy, just watched your conference. Please don't stop trying," the Spaniard said.
"Keep fighting. I can imagine your pain and sadness. I hope you can overcome this. You deserve to retire on your own terms, whenever that happens. We love you @andy_murray and we want to see you happy and doing well."
US tennis star Andy Roddick praised Murray's on-court abilities, saying: "Absolute legend. Short list of best tacticians in history. Unreal results in a brutal era ...... Nothing but respect here. I hope he can finish strong and healthy."
Murray's former coach Ivan Lendl also paid tribute to the star, reportedly saying: "He will leave a measure of true grit that we all can learn from.
"Andy always left it all out on the court and I will look back with great feelings about the years we worked together. They were a lot of fun and filled with excitement. "
Off the court, Murray was known for being a vocal supporter of the women's tour and equality in sport and beyond.
"You are a champion on and off the court," women's tennis legend Billie Jean King wrote in a tweet.
"So sorry you cannot retire on your own terms, but remember to look to the future. Your greatest impact on the world may be yet to come. Your voice for equality will inspire future generations. Much love to you & your family."
Courtney Nguyen, who is a Senior Writer for WTA Insider, wrote: "I think the women in the press room will back me up on this: Andy Murray always treated us great.
"Sometimes I'd chuckle at his penchant for giving a thoughtful answer to a q asked by a woman, which he just brushed off when asked by a guy."
According to New York Times tennis writer Ben Rothenberg, German tennis player Andrea Petkovic said: "He [Murray] was always my favorite, and I think it will be a huge loss for tennis in general, but also for the WTA.
"Because even nowadays, when you think everything is equal, you still need men, especially successful men, to speak up for women."
Murray, who has won 45 singles titles, including three Grand Slam titles, is due to play his Australian Open first-round match against Roberto Bautista Agut (22) of Spain on Monday.
Andy, just watched your conference. Please don't stop trying. Keep fighting. I can imagine your pain and sadness. I hope you can overcome this. You deserve to retire on your own terms, whenever that happens. We love you @andy_murray and we want to see you happy and doing well.- Juan M. del Potro (@delpotrojuan) January 11, 2019
If this is true, I tip my cap to @andy_murray ! Absolute legend. Short list of best tacticians in history. Unreal results in a brutal era ...... Nothing but respect here. I hope he can finish strong and healthy https://t.co/FZbwmvRC2r- andyroddick (@andyroddick) January 11, 2019
.@andy_murray You are a champion on and off the court. So sorry you cannot retire on your own terms, but remember to look to the future. Your greatest impact on the world may be yet to come. Your voice for equality will inspire future generations. Much love to you & your family. https://t.co/AQUOP3LGec- Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) January 11, 2019
I think the women in the press room will back me up on this:- Courtney Nguyen (@FortyDeuceTwits) January 11, 2019
Andy Murray always treated us great. Sometimes I'd chuckle at his penchant for giving a thoughtful answer to a q asked by a woman, which he just brushed off when asked by a guy.