‘Legend’ Andy Murray can be proud of achievements, says Federer
Melbourne — 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 No3 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 No1 in 2016.