Seventh heaven beckons for Federer, Djokovic

Rex Christensen
January 14, 2019

Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, described Murray as a "legend" and wrote in a tweet: "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".

The tennis community was left shocked and saddened by Murray's announcement on Friday that he would be retiring after Wimbledon, if not before, after 20 months attempting to fix a severely damaged hip.

The Serb, who turns 32 in May, shares the record with Federer and the legendary Australian Roy Emerson, who held the overall Grand Slam record of 12 titles.

Murray, 31, struggled to share the news at the Australian Open in Melbourne, which he withdrew from past year due to injury.

In today's column, Judy, who is at his side in Melbourne, writes: "Though these are hard days right now, I'm sure Andy will continue to have a huge impact on the world of tennis. I am confident it's going to work well".

Nadal has missed long periods of tennis because of injuries throughout his career, still managing to amass 17 major titles, but has never contemplated a date for retirement.

"I can't imagine the sport without him to be honest", said Konta. "But, of course, there is periods of time that you don't see the light".

Men's tennis could be facing a player revolt, with a war over player power and pay brewing behind the scenes at the Australian Open.

Serena's 2017 triumph Down Under gave her the outright Open-era record for singles majors ahead of Steffi Graf's 22, leaving only Court's tally of 24 titles - 13 of which were earned in the amateur era before 1968 - for her to chase.

Nadal's plan for longevity revolves around playing fewer tournaments and resting whenever he has persistent injuries.

STRUGGLING Andy Murray runs to make a return to Serbia's Novak Djokovic during a practice match on Margaret Court Arena
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"I know how not well he was", said Federer.

The governing body behind the men's professional tour, the ATP, seems set to lurch into crisis after the Open, with suggestions of a player mutiny.

But the 31-year-old said all fans in Australia created a special atmosphere.

"We are very fond of him and he is a great person to have around the club".

Kyrgios' poor results have caused the Australian's ranking to plummet outside the top 50, making him one of the key unseeded floaters in the draw. Tomorrow another one. We are not 20 anymore.

His breakthrough came against Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2008 and he has won the title five more times since, most recently against Murray in 2016.

Djokovic isn't in action until Day 2, when he opens against USA qualifier Mitchell Krueger.

Second seeds Rafael Nadal and Angelique Kerber - both former champions - also play on Monday. Federer has a night match against Denis Istomin on the same center court.

He is scheduled to begin his challenge for the Australian Open on Monday when he faces Roberto Bautista Agut in the opening round, adding that he would ideally like to make it to Wimbledon in the summer before he bids farewell.

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