Tributes pour in as tennis legend Andy Murray says he is about to retire
Leading lights from sport and politics paid tribute to Andy Murray as one of Britain's “greatest sportsmen” after he tearfully announced his plan to retire from tennis.
At a news conference, an emotional Murray, 31, said that next week's Australian Open could be his final tournament, owing to pain in his right hip, following surgery last year.
Billie Jean King, the American tennis legend, praised Murray for using his platform to promote gender equality in sport.
She wrote to Murray on Twitter: “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.
She continued: “Your greatest impact on the world may be yet to come. Your voice for equality will inspire future generations.”
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. A credit to sport and to the country.”
Prime Minister Theresa May said: “Andy Murray has had a fantastic career and time and time again has made this nation proud… he will be remembered as one of the best and most successful athletes of his or any generation.”
Murray's announcement brings down the curtain on a career in which he became the first British man to win a Wimbledon singles title in 77 years, despite an early life marked by tragedy.
In March 1996, he was a pupil at Dunblane Primary School when gunman Thomas Hamilton killed 16 pupils and a teacher in the school's gymnasium.
He won his first grand slam, the US Open, in September 2012, and repeated the success at Wimbledon in 2013 – with 17.3 million tuning in to watch his victory.
He married his long-time girlfriend Kim Sears at Dunblane Cathedral in 2015 and won his second Wimbledon singles title the following year.
Murray has long been a voice for gender equality, often speaking up for women players.
BBC presenter John Inverdale was accused of sexism after he congratulated Murray on becoming the “first person” to win two Olympic tennis golds, following his victory at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Murray responded: “I think Venus and Serena [Williams] have won about four each.”
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Original source: //inews.co.uk/news/tributes-andy-murray-retire-tennis/
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