Emotional Murray says he can’t go on
Tributes poured in yesterday after Dunblane tennis legend Andy Murray announced he was retiring
Sir Andy Murray has been hailed as a “legend” by the first minister after the tennis star announced he will retire this year.
Nicola Sturgeon led praise from near and far after the double Olympic champion fought back tears as he announced the upcoming Australian Open could be his last tournament.
He admitted difficulties in playing with a recurring hip problem but hopes to make Wimbledon in the summer, although he could not confirm that would be the case.
After watching his announcement in an emotional press conference, Ms Sturgeon tweeted: “Andy Murray is a legend – without doubt one of Scotland’s greatest ever sportsmen, as well as an outstanding role model and inspiration for young people everywhere.
“A credit to sport and to the country. Sending him very best wishes.”
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard also called Sir Andy “one of our country’s greatest ever sportsmen”.
Tracey Crouch, the UK sports minister when Sir Andy claimed his second Wimbledon title in 2016, said: “He’s such a phenomenal competitor in an era of other great players, a champion for equality in sport and a genuinely nice guy.” His decision to appoint Amelie Mauresmo as his coach in 2014 is considered a groundbreaking moment in the sport.
Questions have been raised over what will come next for Sir Andy, who already acts as an official mentor for young sportsmen and women through his management company.
The programme even reaches his beloved Hibernian Football Club, where two players are under the Grand Slam winner’s stewardship.
Sport can be a cruel mistress as Sir Andy Murray has found out these past two injury-hit years.
But his is a glorious story.
As a supremely talented and ultra-competitive youngster growing up in Dunblane, he possessed the drive and determination needed to pursue his dream of competing at the top level of sport.
He turned professional in 2005 and the following year he usurped Tim Henman as British number one after seven years.
It was the start of a remarkable rise that took him to the very top of the game in, arguably, the finest era in tennis history.
2012 was his year. A first grand slam at the US Open was followed by a victory in his home Olympics in London.
The feat cemented him in the nation’s affections and spawned a new visitor attraction – a gold post box – in his home town. But greater heights were to follow in 2013 with the first of two Wimbledon titles.
A fully fit Sir Andy not only met the expectations of a nation on his shoulders, he regularly surpassed them.
That injury is now bringing an early close to a golden career is sad. But it is just a footnote in a sporting life that will be celebrated for generations to come.
The debate will rage for just as long as to whether Sir Andy is Scotland’s greatest ever sportsman.
But there is no doubt he has a claim to that crown.
Andy Murray fighting back the tears as he announces that the Australian Open could be his last tournament.