After emotionally announcing his plans to retire from tennis last week, three-time Grand Slam winner, Andy Murray, has been flooded with praise from across the world of sport
The 31-year-old Briton played only 12 matches last year and returned to the Brisbane International last week, where he won his opening match but lost in the second round, visibly limping at times.
He said he plans to play his opening match at the Australian Open on Monday against world number 22 Roberto Bautista Agut.
However, when asked if this might be his last tournament, he said: “Yes I think there’s a chance of that for sure because I’m not sure I’m able to play through the pain for another four or five months.”
Murray wiped away tears during a 10-minute press conference and even walked out at one point, returning minutes later to talk about how sport had dominated his life so much that he sometimes struggles to put on his shoes and socks.
Many of his fellow professionals were quick to praise the former World Number one, including current Britain Number one, Kyle Edmund.
He said: “For me he’s been my biggest role model out of any tennis player. He’s Britain’s greatest tennis player ever and you could say maybe Britain’s best sportsman ever.”
British Number one Johanna Konta and Heather Watson both praised him for his role in standing up for the women’s side of the game.
Sir Andy Murray made his professional tennis debut in Barcelona in 2005 and has since enjoyed an accomplished career which included many defining moments, from winning his first grand slam at the US Open to being crowned Wimbledon champion.
The nation went from feeling Murray’s pain at the end of his heart breaking loss to Roger Federer at Wimbledon 2012, to a feeling of jubilation after he won Olympic gold at the same venue some months later.
A year later in 2013, the defiant Scotsman put his tearful Wimbledon loss behind him to win his first ever Wimbledon title, making a passionate and emotional speech on centre court.
The reigning Olympic champion and former World Number one, went on to 45 titles including three grand slams, 14 Masters, a title at the ATP Finals and the Davis Cup in 2015, eventually being honoured with a knighthood.
Murray has said he hopes to be able to compete at this year’s Wimbledon but feels the Australian Open might be the final step in his defiant and successful career.
Fighting back tears, he told reporters: “During my training block I spoke to my team and told them I can’t keep doing this.
“I needed to have an end point because I was sort of playing with no idea when the pain was going to stop.
“I said to my team, look I think I can get through this until Wimbledon. That’s where I’d like to stop playing, but I’m also not certain I’m able to do that.”
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