Go for glory like Andy

Mum re­veals her sad­ness and pride as leg­end re­tires

The Sunday Post (Inverness) - - 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 could 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 fit­ter, health­ier and more am­bi­tious na­tion.” Her 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 at Wim­ble­don 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 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 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.”

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

Iknow you will all un­der­stand that it’s not been an easy few days out here in Aus­tralia.

I’m in­cred­i­bly sad to see Andy an­nounce the end of his ten­nis ca­reer. Who would have thought a wee boy from Dun­blane would ever win Wim­ble­don and cre­ate ten­nis his­tory?

He has made our na­tion proud and has proved that any­thing’s pos­si­ble if you want it enough and work your socks off. He’s a clas­sic ex­am­ple of “it’s not what you have, it’s what you do with what you have”.

It’s been very tough to watch what Andy has been go­ing through over the past 18 months.

Try­ing to re­gain his fit­ness af­ter surgery and get back on the tour has been a huge chal­lenge. He’s been in pain for a long time and though he’s been work­ing so hard to re­cover I know just how frus­trat­ing it has been for him.

As a par­ent, all you can do is try to un­der­stand what your chil­dren are go­ing through so you can help in what­ever way is nec­es­sary. But it’s tough to see your kids in con­stant pain.

I’ve said be­fore that with a longterm in­jury like Andy’s, the only thing you can do is trust that you are be­ing given the right ad­vice and try to weigh up the im­pli­ca­tions.

That’s why it’s so im­por­tant to have your fam­ily and old­est friends around to give un­con­di­tional sup­port, and we will con­tinue to be there for him.

I’m hugely proud of what Andy has achieved in the golden era of men’s ten­nis. His com­mit­ment and pro­fes­sion­al­ism are sec­ond to none.

Though these are dif­fi­cult days right now, I’m sure he 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 fit­ter, health­ier and more am­bi­tious na­tion.

Andy Mur­ray gets cud­dle from his mum in Mel­bourne on Fri­day

Andy Mur­ray train­ing yes­ter­day

Judy gives some tips to Andy, the boy who would be champ

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