Murray will be a big loss - Nadal pays tribute to retiring great

Ruben Holloway
January 14, 2019

ANDY MURRAY's hopes of making his tennis farewell at Wimbledon are in tatters.

He broke down in tears as he confirmed the Australian Open would be his last, but was hopeful he'd be able to end his career in front of his home crowd at Wimbledon in July.

Murray broke down on Friday when he told a news conference that the severe pain from his troublesome right hip had become nearly unbearable for him to play on.

"When you are going on court every day without the clear goal because you can not move well, you have pain, then is a moment to take a decision", Nadal said of Murray's decision. I don't think there's any doubt about that.

Naomi Osaka is no longer a shy, introvert youngster and the newest Grand Slam victor in women's tennis says she owes her maturity to last year's U.S. Open triumph.

"He has tried really hard and explored every option that has any real possibility of being helpful".

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Murray said he's considering another hip operation, more to improve his quality of life than as a way of returning to the top level in tennis. "That won't happen now".

Both players start their Australian Open campaigns on Monday.

Top Australian coach Darren Cahill, who until recently was mentoring world number one Simona Halep, said Murray was an example of the never-say-die attitude that separated the best from the average. "The last couple years I've had wonderful Hopman Cups". Before I said without a Grand Slam, you are not a real No.1.

"One of my biggest goals is to be more mature, like to mature as a person", she said. "But he's 31. Ten years ago, if he retired at 31, we will say he had a great and very long career".

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic added their tributes to the outpouring of support for Murray. For some, the Australian Open brings a sense of optimism - a new year, a fresh start and a favorable bracket.

The Auckland Open and Sydney International, as well as the Kooyong Classic, also gave an opportunity to some of the upcoming players to get much-needed match practice ahead of the big event.

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"I think he probably just wants that big send off at Wimbledon, to enjoy that crowd one more time".

"I'm happy. I'm enjoying the time".

"We are very fond of him and he is a great person to have around the club". "Keep fighting ... You deserve to retire on your own terms". "Obviously it was something that I really wanted, a big dream of mine to win a grand slam, and it was an awesome feeling and an incredible two weeks".

"But I know that tennis is not forever".

Murray said he'd spoken extensively to long-time doubles star Bob Bryan about recovering from a similar operation, but couldn't see himself recovering to be fit enough for singles and he wasn't considering transitioning to doubles. It's going to be uncomfortable.

Pressed to throw in one of her jokes on queue, she was sharp: "That was a joke, I'm sorry". Then I can think about, like, the finals and winning.

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