The global sports community has rallied around Scotland’s Andy Murray in the wake of his decision to retire after Wimbledon 2019.
It’s plainly evident to see that Murray has won the hearts and minds of the tennis world, as well as the respect of fellow sporting stars around the globe. Murray’s announcement – and, in particular, the way it was done, as he had to leave the room to fight back tears – has resonated with those who have found themselves in a similar position at some stage during their careers.
Rivalry and differences of opinion are shelved for good once you see a person in as much emotional and physical pain as Murray quite clearly is at this moment in time. On a humane level, it’s very hard to watch someone suffer as they come to terms with a career-ending prematurely. That is why there has been an overwhelming reaction to Murray’s announcement that has come from stars in various different sporting codes.
Victorious European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn tweeted Murray to say ‘keep going and hope you somehow can come back to your best.’ Justin Rose who was part of Bjorn’s winning Ryder Cup team also urged Murray to ‘keep it going as everybody wants to watch you at Wimbledon.’
Keep going @andy_murray
Hope you somehow can come back to your best!
— Thomas Bjorn (@thomasbjorngolf) January 11, 2019
The reactions to Andy Murray’s news from the tennis world has been similar with fellow pros past and present encouraging Murray to not give up just yet. As far as retirement announcements go, this doesn’t seem as final or concrete as we’ve seen in the past but maybe that is because we are all hoping, just like Andy Murray is, that it doesn’t have to be the end.
Anyone watching his press conference would be forced to admit that it does look like the end of the road, though, given how real the reaction was and after having looked at his injury timeline over the last 20 months. In some ways, it felt like it may not have been planned and that it had rather dawned on the 31-year-old that he couldn’t go on any longer like this.
Boris Becker’s shock prediction that the old guard will be usurped this year doesn’t look that outrageous when you consider staying fit may be the one battle the Big Four aren’t able to win at this point in their careers.
Murray arrives at the Australian Open at 80/1 and that is for good reason, given the next game could be his last. Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer are all in better shape health-wise, which is why they are still the betting favourites this year at the Australian Open.
Djokovic will be aiming to make it three Grand Slams in a row and at odds of 6/5 and with a clean bill of health, you’d be hard pressed to make a case as to why he can’t. The time will come, however, when the younger generation begins to knock these revered champions off their perches.
The man tipped to begin putting the old guard to the sword is Alexander Zverev who is backed at 8/1 in Australian open betting by Betfair Australia. The young German has it all in terms of technique and a lanky athletic physique that enables him to keep going deep into any match when the stamina of others begins to fail.
Murray’s decision may well have been based on the fact that, alongside his injury woes, there are a wave of new stars coming through like Zverev that will be able to run him off the court even if they can’t beat him shot for shot. Once your legs go, it’s a long way back for any tennis star.
–– 3x Grand Slams
–– 2x Olympic gold medals
–– ATP Finals
–– 2016 world No.1
–– 14x Masters 1000 titles
–– 8x Grand Slam finals
–– 45 total ATP titles
Legend 🏆🏅🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/CYphhRvUcC
— Justin Rose (@JustinRose99) January 11, 2019
It will certainly be intriguing to see whether Murray heeds the call of his fellow sportsmen and gives making a comeback injury free one last go. The entire world is pulling for the Scot to do so but the harsh reality may well be that his race is run and has been for some time.
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