‘Suf­fer­ing’ Mur­ray has made right de­ci­sion - Nadal

Tehran Times - - WORLD SPORTS -

Andy Mur­ray’s im­pend­ing re­tire­ment was a de­ci­sion he had to take be­cause he is “suf­fer­ing”, says long-time ri­val Rafael Nadal.

The 31-year-old Bri­ton an­nounced on Fri­day that he will quit this year, and next week’s Aus­tralian Open could be the fi­nal tour­na­ment of his ca­reer.

“When you are go­ing on court with­out a clear goal be­cause you can­not move well and you have pain, then it is the time to take a de­ci­sion,” Nadal said.

“He will be a big loss for ten­nis.”

Nadal, 32, knows more than most play­ers what it is like to bat­tle in­jury hav­ing had a cat­a­logue of se­ri­ous prob­lems over the years, with his knees and wrists in par­tic­u­lar.

But the Spa­niard, a 17-time Grand Slam sin­gles cham­pion, says he has never “ar­rived” at the point of feel­ing he had to quit the sport.

“I al­ways had the feel­ing that we’ll fix it,” said the world num­ber two, who be­gins his Aus­tralian Open cam­paign against home wild­card James Duck­worth on Mon­day.

“But, of course, there are pe­ri­ods of time that you don’t see the light. It is tough.

“I know it is hard men­tally. It is tough when you have one thing, then an­other thing.

“Andy has prob­a­bly been fight­ing to keep go­ing for a long time. If he doesn’t feel that the in­jury can be­come bet­ter, he has prob­a­bly done the right thing for his men­tal health.”

Scot­land’s Mur­ray first met Nadal, who has won 17 Grand Slam ti­tles, when they were teenagers and played against each other at ju­nior tour­na­ments.

The pair have met 24 times as se­niors, with the Ma­jor­can win­ning 17 of the con­tests.

“I al­ways had good re­la­tion­ship with him,” said Nadal. “We shared mo­ments in my acad­emy. We shared courts in the most im­por­tant sta­di­ums in the world, com­pet­ing for the most im­por­tant things. That’s im­pos­si­ble to for­get.

“So all the best to him. We will miss him. But to­day is him. To­mor­row an­other one. We are not 20 any more. Our gen­er­a­tion, ev­ery­one is more than 30 - these kind of things hap­pen.

“He will be a very im­por­tant loss for us, for the world of ten­nis, for the tour, for the fans. But that’s life. It seems like he had not a very long ca­reer be­cause to­day play­ers are play­ing that long. But he’s 31 - 10 years ago, if he re­tired at 31, we would say he had a great and very long ca­reer.”

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