Andy Murray announced on Friday that he'll be retiring from tennis at some point this season—best-case scenario at Wimbledon, but earlier if his hip injury proves too painful.
The great champion and overall well-liked guy he is, Murray naturally received an outpouring of supportive messages on social media from admirers all over the world.
Best way to feel better after a tough day is a big cuddle from your mum ???? Genuinely been very touched by all of the messages and support from everybody today... It means a lot and has made me feel much more positive than when I woke this morning????Thank you so much. ❤️
"That was kind of the first time I kind of came out and let everyone know how bad it's been and tough," Murray said. "I felt a lot better after that. But obviously, like, the reaction, I was really surprised. I genuinely was not expecting it to be like that at all."
His tennis-playing peers were perhaps the most in awe of his amazing career, having witnessed so closely all that the Scot has given to the sport.
If this is true, I tip my cap to @andy_murray ! Absolute legend. Short list of best tacticians in history. Unreal results in a brutal era ...... Nothing but respect here. I hope he can finish strong and healthy https://t.co/FZbwmvRC2r— andyroddick (@andyroddick) January 11, 2019
Andy stopping to take a pic with Micaela after one of his matches in Miami in 2012. We’ll all forever remember the mark he left on our sport: the run to #1, the Grand Slams, Olympic Medals, and Davis Cup...but I’ll also never forget the afternoon he carved out of his busy training schedule to help us raise money for our kids foundation. This guy has a heart of gold and will always be a legend in tennis and life. #andymurray
???????????????? https://t.co/GRmFIqPNqQ— Stanislas Wawrinka (@stanwawrinka) January 11, 2019
Right before the @australianopen start I want throw it back to the 2016 Australian open when I played one of the best players and a true legend of our sport @andymurray . All of us will have a time where we have to say goodbye too the sport we love so much and I want to wish you all the best for the last period of your career. We as players know how much you’ve been thru the last few months and years and we all really hope that you can enjoy playing and competing hopefully a few more times. At the end of the day we are all competitors but we are also one big family on the tour that’s why I want to wish you all the best for your last Australian open. I will be watching and cheering for sir Andy ????????
.@andy_murray You are a champion on and off the court. So sorry you cannot retire on your own terms, but remember to look to the future. Your greatest impact on the world may be yet to come. Your voice for equality will inspire future generations. Much love to you & your family. https://t.co/AQUOP3LGec— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) January 11, 2019
What a champion! All class @andy_murray ????????— Sam Groth (@SamGrothTennis) January 11, 2019
Tive o prazer de jogar e compartilhar momentos incríveis com o @andymurray durante a IPTL, uma pessoa incrível dentro e fora das quadras. Mais que sorte, desejo força na nova fase que ele vai começar após a sua retirada. . . I had the chance to play with @andymurray at IPTL, actually he saved our team :) ! Was pleasure for me. I wish all the best for him in this new chapter of his life after he last match, what great player !!!
The @andy_murray that I know will absolutely make it to Wimbledon to play his final tournament. Not many with more heart, effort in the history of the game. Was always a pleasure to share the court pal.— Mardy Fish (@MardyFish) January 11, 2019
So sad for @andy_murray . Hands down one of the best guys on tour. So much respect for him as an all around athlete and person. Hope his body can recover. If not, he will be missed by all. ????— Vasek Pospisil (@VasekPospisil) January 11, 2019
Juan Martin del Potro, who's had his own struggles with injuries and pain, could relate to Murray on a visceral level.
Andy, just watched your conference. Please don’t stop trying. Keep fighting. 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. ????— Juan M. del Potro (@delpotrojuan) January 11, 2019
And Nick Kyrgios, who saw Murray as a mentor, didn't hold back any earnestness.
Andy, I know you take me for a joker most of the time, but at least hear me out on this one old friend. You will always be someone that impacted the sport in so many different ways, I know this was never the way you wanted to go out, but hey it was a heck of a ride. You took me under your wing as soon as I got on tour, and to this day you have been someone I literally just look forward to seeing. You are one crazy tennis player, miles better than me, but I just want you to know that today isn’t only a sad day for you and your team, it’s a sad day for the sport and for everyone you’ve had an impact on. Which leaves me big fella.. these are a couple photos, that should make you smile and think, I was actually a little bit of a younger brother to you. Anyways, I just want you to know, and I’m sure you already do, everyone wants you to keep fighting and to keep being you. Goodluck at the Australian Open muzz, I’ll be behind you. #onelastdance ????????????????
Analysts, unsurprisingly, had the utmost praise for the three-time Slam champion:
When you search for examples of “emptied the bucket to be as good as they could be” there should be a picture of Andy Murray sitting under that quote. Remarkable discipline for training, competition, sacrifice, perfection, a little crazy ???? but a legend of a bloke. Bravo Andy ????— Darren Cahill (@darren_cahill) January 11, 2019
Hearing the news from @andy_murray is gut wrenching It is an athlete’s goal to retire on their own terms That’s been stolen from him He will be sorely missed let’s all enjoy what’s left & from this tennis fan Thank you @andy_murray— Paul Annacone (@paul_annacone) January 11, 2019
And fans, stunned and heartbroken, shared both their love and their sadness:
Thank you for everything @andy_murray ❤️ You’ve been an inspiration for me for so many years and I know this decision must’ve been incredibly difficult, but your health comes first. I’m so sorry it ended like this, but what you did for this sport will never be forgotten.— Thaís (@thais__ferrari) January 11, 2019
My heart breaks for Andy. This is not the way such a great career should end. It’s just not fair. ???? https://t.co/oRb7Em1oSS— Kristina Borojevic (@kikiborojevic) January 11, 2019
Murray took the court on Monday against No. 22-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut, falling in four sets.
In his last #AusOpen match, Andy Murray fights incredibly hard to comeback from two sets down in extreme pain but falls just short.— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 14, 2019
Roberto Bautista Agut wins 4-6 4-6 7-6(5) 7-6(4) 2-6. pic.twitter.com/CoiObtKQue
It's uncertain what will be in store for Murray beyond Melbourne, but he'll surely remain one of the most revered figures in tennis.
Kickoff each day of the 2019 Australian Open with Tennis Channel Live, reviewing the day's most important news and previewing the day's biggest matches. Watch LIVE at 6 p.m. ET.
Follow the Australian Open even closer with Tennis Channel PLUS. Go to BuyTCPlus.com and subscribe now!