Go for glory like Andy

Ace tipped for en­voy role after re­veal­ing re­tire­ment plans

The Sunday Post (Dundee) - - FRONT PAGE - By Rus­sell Blackstock [email protected]

Judy Murray urges Scot­land to build on the ca­reer of her su­per­star son

Judy Murray has re­vealed her sad­ness and pride after her su­per­star son Andy an­nounced his im­mi­nent re­tire­ment.

But, writ­ing in the Sun­day Post, she voiced hope that his glit­ter­ing ca­reer will help in­spire Scot­land.

A tear­ful Andy re­vealed on Fri­day that the pain in his hip has be­come too much to bear and the Aus­tralian Open c o u ld be his fi­nal tour­na­ment.

In today’s col­umn, Judy, who is at his side in Melbourne, writes: “Though these are dif­fi­cult days right now, I’m sure Andy will con­tinue to have a huge im­pact on the world of tennis.

“I know he has in­spired so many – young and old – to both watch and play tennis.

“And I will con­tinue to hope that the pow­ers that be will find a way to cap­i­talise on his suc­cess to cre­ate a last­ing tennis legacy in Scot­land and help to make us a f i t t e r, health­ier and m o re am­bi­tious na­tion.”

He r com­ments came as trib­utes con­tin­ued to pour in for her world- fa­mous son.

Scot­tish rugby leg­end David Sole said the fact that Murray had been so suc­cess­ful dur­ing an era packed with so many tennis greats such as Rafael Nadal, Roger Fed­erer and No­vak Djokovic made his achieve­ments all that more sig­nif­i­cant.

“Andy is an amaz­ing char­ac­ter and is an in­cred­i­ble role model,” Sole said. “He would make a fan­tas­tic am­bas­sador not just for Scot­tish sport but for Bri­tish sport in gen­eral.

“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.”

Vet­eran Scots sports com­men­ta­tor Archie Macpher­son said Murray’s first sin­gles ti­tle win atwim­ble­don in 2013 was the most ex­cit­ing sport­ing event he has ever wit­nessed.

“I have cov­ered six foot­ball World Cup fi­nals and four Olympic Games but Andy’s win over Djokovic that day is the most nerve- wrack­ing oc­ca­sion I can re­call,” he said. “I was at my cot­tage in Fife with my wife and I couldn’t even watch the last set on TV.

“I had to go out into the garden and take peeks at it through the win­dow. It was the most de­mand­ing, en­gross­ing and pal­pi­tat­ing event I have seen in sport – and I wasn’t even there.

“It is sad Andy is re­tir­ing and with­out in­jury he would still have been at the peak of his ca­reer. He is truly in­spi­ra­tional.”

Andy Murray was back on court yesterday, prac­tis­ing with Grigor Dim­itrov at the Rod Laver Arena ahead of a first round match against Roberto Bautista Agut to­mor­row that could be the fi­nal act of his glit­ter­ing ca­reer.

His great ri­val Nadal ex­pressed his sad­ness at Murray’s im­pend­ing re­tire­ment but backed his decision as the right move for his men­tal health.

Nadal said: “Of course it’s very bad news. But when some­body like him, he achieved al­most ev­ery­thing in his tennis ca­reer, is suf­fer­ing like he’s do­ing for such a long time already, and you feel that you are not com­pet­i­tive for the thing that re­ally makes you wake up ev­ery morn­ing and go on court with the pas­sion to prac­tise, to im­prove, and with a goal, then it is so dif­fi­cult.

“Prob­a­bly he is fight­ing to keep

He did it all with hu­mil­ity and good grace, but also with a dry sense of hu­mour

go­ing since a long time. If he doesn’t feel that the thing can go bet­ter, prob­a­bly he does the right thing for his men­tal health.”

Few peo­ple would have put money on Murray be­ing the first of the “big four” of tennis to re­tire, and his im­mi­nent exit is a stark re­minder that this golden gen­er­a­tion can­not go on for­ever.

“It seems like he had not a very long ca­reer,” said Nadal. “But he’s 31. Ten years ago, if he re­tired at 31, we will say he had a great and very long ca­reer. We will miss him.

“But today it’s him, to­mor­row an­other one. We are not 20 any more. Our gen­er­a­tion, ev­ery­one is more than 30.”

Andy Murray with proud mum Judy at his side in Melbourne

Murray’s legacy in un­tar­nished

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