Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

Federer 'sad and shocked' to learn of Murray retirement

Andy Murray breaks down during a press conference in Melbourne on January 11 ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament. — AFP Andy Murray breaks down during a press conference in Melbourne on January 11 ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament. — AFP
Jennie Wade | 14 January, 2019, 08:12

The three-time Grand Slam victor said he hopes to retire after the Wimbledon tournament in July, but could step away from the sport by the end of this month's Australian Open, depending on his health.

Top seed Novak Djokovic, a six-time victor at Melbourne Park, is the betting favorite, but 2018 runner-up Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem and Australian Nick Kyrgios are among others to watch.

"I can't say that because I didn't have that experience, but in some way I can speak about similarities that I had in my career".

"Ideally, he would want to play there, but I imagine once you make the decision that you are going to stop it must get very hard to keep going with the rehab, never-ending exercising, and putting up with the pain".

"I'm playing good tennis. I don't have to have it that way". Nadal is only three shy of Roger Federer's tally, a record the Spaniard feels is well within reach, pending fitness and health. Hopefully you get to retire on our favourite court @wimbledon.

In fact, he said the flawless farewell may have already passed.

"I think it's a pretty open tournament and I think an outsider can win it". "I've tried everything I could to get it right and that hasn't worked".

But the end is on his mind with Federer wondering whether he would like to go out in the place he's won eight Grand Slam titles.

'Just spending time with family, friends, taking time away from the sport, I think, mentally recharged me a lot'. Are you a fan of Federer? "The problem is it's not his decision, it's the body's decision and that naturally hurts".

Konta begins her Australian Open campaign on Tuesday against Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic, who she lost to in Brisbane last week.

Andrew, a former United Kingdom number 1, asked Mr Maclagan whether he expected the announcement from Mr Murray: "I thought he might get through this year, but clearly it's a lot worse than I thought".

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"Of course it is very bad news".

"As someone that has been through a major injury myself recently, I can probably relate a little bit to what he's going through", Djokovic told reporters.

Rafael Nadal is all too familiar with visiting rehabilitation time and again.

"The fact is that I just don't feel comfortable talking about these things, even in private".

The defending champion in Australia is Caroline Wozniacki, although it is not an easy trophy to defend - the last player to do so was Victoria Azarenka back in 2013.

"Whatever happens, I will always cherish our wonderful matches over the years and be grateful for those experiences Big hug Andy, stay strong".

Federer has credited improvements in travel, in nutrition and in life balance for giving modern tennis players the ability to extend their careers well into their 30s.

It's not that the Japanese 21-year-old doesn't grasp or respect the magnitude of stifling Serena Williams' fire to triumph at Flushing Meadows last September.

Nadal's plan for longevity revolves around playing fewer tournaments and resting whenever he has persistent injuries. It would be nice to be able to do them without any pain: putting shoes on, socks on, thinks like that.

"You are one insane 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".

"His record is phenomenal and he did it all not only with humility and good grace, but also with a dry sense of humour that marks him out as a true Scot". But today is him. "Our generation, everyone is more than 30 - these kind of things happen", said Nadal.

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