Renowned Scottish tennis player, Andy Murray, is set to retire after on-going hip pain. The tennis pro has potentially played his last match today at the Australian open against Roberto Bautista.
In his post-match interview Murray said “I’ve loved playing here over the years, it’s an amazing place to play tennis. I gave, literally, everything I had. If this was my last match, it was an amazing way to end. Thanks to everyone for all of the support, my team, my family and everyone who has contributed to my career over the years. Maybe I’ll see you again.”
Today’s defeat may well prove to be game, set and march for the man who has been at the centre of 21stcentury British sporting achievement. As the UK grapples with deep divisions over Brexit union appears to be fraying at the seams over Brexit, Murray’s retirement may also be accompanying risks over the constitutional future of for a union that no longer feels united by a common cause. It feels like the end of an era and with Brexit and the possibility of indyref2 on the horizon Murray could well prove to be one of Scotland’s last British heroes.
His surgeon, Dr. John O’Donnell has said “Realistically I don’t think there is anywhere else to go to preserve his hip and get it better, so he can continue to play. That won’t happen now.”
After an exciting career and many stand-out matches that have been watched by millions, it seems that there may be new pressure on Scottish tennis players to fill the shoes of Andy Murray when he retires.
Andy Murray has, ultimately, been forced to quit, due to his hip injury. Does this happen to a lot of professional tennis players?
I spoke to Andrew Gordon, a member from the Bearsden Tennis Club regarding his thoughts on Andy’s Resignation:
“Yeah, I suppose everyone goes through a point where they just cannot go on. It happens to us all. I was a bit teary because I’ve followed him for a good long time. I’m going to miss him.”
Is there new pressure on Scottish tennis players to fill his shoes?
“There is a bit of pressure, but I think people don’t realise how lucky we were to have someone as good as him that did all these amazing things. It doesn’t happen very often, I mean I had to sit through thirty years of Wimbledon with no Scottish or British players playing very well. It’s very rare but there probably isn’t a lot of pressure. It could be another thirty years before we get another Andy Murray.”
Murray has been a unifying force in British sport on many occasions over the past decade and a half, aided by his Wimbledon wins and barnstorming performances at the Olympic games. More than once he has provided proof that sport can be a unifying force for a nation as people throughout the UK have cheered him on as one of their own. His triumphs have been a lift for the British people throughout austere times and his fascinating career has been followed with great interest by sports fans of all nationalities.
Blane Dodds, CEO of Tennis Scotland, said: “The news from Sir Andy Murray’s media conference this morning is clearly extremely sad for all fans of Andy and indeed tennis, but most of all for Andy himself. The outpouring of love and respect from across the tennis world and beyond only serves as a reminder of his incredible career achievements and the high esteem with which he is held, recognising his immense contribution t the sport as well to countless causes.”
A statue celebrating Andy Murray’s tennis triumphs will be erected and is set to reside in Wimbledon to highlight his momentous career.
Murray claimed his first Wimbledon title in 2013 against Novak Djokovic and, in his career, has won three grand slam titles and two Olympic medals.
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