Murray can be proud of achievements — Federer
Roger Federer says he is shocked that tennis is to lose “legend” Andy Murray and the Scot should be proud of all that he has achieved.
Murray tearfully declared on Friday that his chronic hip injury has not been eased by surgery a year ago.
He then emotionally revealed that he hopes to end his storied career at Wimbledon, but admitted the Australian Open may be his last event because the constant pain is so bad.
“I was disappointed and sad, a little bit shocked, to know now that we’re going to lose him at some point,” Federer said.
“But we’re going to lose everybody at some point. It’s just now that it’s definite,” he added, acknowledging that the era of the “Big Four ”— himself, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Murray is drawing to a close.
“Of course, it hits us top guys hard because we know Andy very well.
“We like him. He doesn’t have many enemies, to be quite honest,” the world No 3 said of the three-time Grand Slam champion and double Olympic gold medal winner.
“He’s a good guy, Hall of Famer, legend. He won everything he wanted to win.
“Anybody would substitute their career with his. He’s a great guy,” Federer said.
Murray has won Wimbledon twice and Federer hoped the Scot could keep playing long enough to be able to say goodbye there.
“Of course, I hope that he can play a good Australian Open and he can keep playing beyond that, really finish the way he wants to at Wimbledon. That’s what I hope for him,” said Federer, who begins his Australian Open title defence on Monday against Denis Istomin.
“It’s a tough one, but once down the road he can look back on and be incredibly proud of everything he has achieved.”
Murray was the first British man to win Wimbledon in 77 years and will be remembered for battling his way to world No 1 in 2016.
Serena Williams is ready to win her first Grand Slam title as a mother, having arrived at the Australian Open in her best condition since coming back from maternity leave, according to her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou.
Frenchman Mouratoglou, who has guided Williams to the last 10 of her 23 Grand Slam titles, felt the American great was in “decent shape” when she reached the 2018 finals at Wimbledon and the US Open.
However, her fitness had since gone up a notch and Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles may well be in peril at Melbourne Park, he said.
“It was a big deal. She had a lot of medical issues after the delivery but she definitely was not 100%.
“She reached two Grand Slam finals. She was fit. I am knowing her now for a few years so I knew she could be much fitter but it’s just a question of time,” Mouratoglou said.
“And I think she’s fitter now. You can see it, it’s quite obvious when you see her on the court, how she moves.
“She’s ready to compete and when Serena’s ready to compete, she’s ready to win.”
While two months pregnant, Williams claimed a record seventh Australian Open title in the professional era in 2017 but missed out on her title defence while on maternity leave.
She returned to the tour at Indian Wells in 2018 and had a roller-coaster season, forced to pull out of the French Open fourth round with a pectoral muscle injury and was later beaten by Angelique Kerber in the final at Wimbledon.
She then revealed a personal battle with postpartum depression before closing her season in disappointment and acrimony, with a loss to Naomi Osaka in a US Open final marred by a huge row with the chair umpire Carlos Ramos.
Seeded 16th in Melbourne, Williams warmed up for 2019’s first Grand Slam by winning all three of her singles matches at the Hopman Cup in Perth.
She plays unseeded German Tatjana Maria in her first round match on Tuesday.
Williams has a tough road to an eighth title, with world No 1 and French Open champion Simona Halep a potential quarterfinal opponent, followed by Osaka in the semifinals if the seeds hold sway.
Mouratoglou said seedings and rankings would mean little if Serena brought her best form.
“Of course, she’s not No 1 in the world, and I have a lot of respect for the No 1 but I still feel that if Serena plays her tennis and she’s herself 100%, I still think she’s the best.
“But she has to show it now,” he said.
“We’ll do everything for it to happen this year.”
Superb form: Serena Williams under the watchful eye of coach Patrick Mouratoglou, who says she is fit.