Melbourne: Tennis ace Andy Murray’s tearful announcement Friday that he’ll be forced to retire this year prompted a volley of tributes to the man, fond recollections of a historic career and encouragement to serve up a fitting farewell.
American star Andy Roddick led the tributes to the former World No.1, describing his 11-time opponent as an ‘absolute legend’ who is on the ‘short list of best tacticians’ in the history of the sport. “Unreal results in a brutal era. Nothing but respect here. I hope he can finish strong and healthy,” Roddick said.
Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro urged him not to throw in the towel.
“Andy, just watched your conference. Please don’t stop trying. Keep fighting,” he tweeted. “I can imagine your pain and sadness. I hope you can overcome this. You deserve to retire on your own terms, whenever that happens. We love you @andy_murray and we want to see you happy and doing well.”
The sentiment was echoed by tennis’ women stars. Indian ace Sania Mirza dubbed Murray her ‘forever favourite’ and a ‘#forever a champion’.
Legend Billie Jean King declared Murray a ‘champion on and off the court’. “Your greatest impact on the world may be yet to come. Your voice for equality will inspire future generations,” said King
That sentiment was echoed by Belgian four-time Major winner Kim Clijsters, who like many could not help but be moved by Murray’s emotional announcement. “My heart breaks listening to @andy_murray during his press conference,” she tweeted.