Nick Kyrgios has sent a heartfelt tribute to his good friend Andy Murray after the Brit’s emotional retirement announcement on Friday.
The three-time grand slam winner shocked the tennis world after admitting that he is considering stepping away from the sport later in the year after one last run at Wimbledon.
However, he added that his painful hip injury could bring that forward to an announcement next week, depending on how far he progresses in the Australian Open.
Murray is one of the most liked and loved players on the tour but he’s struggled for years with a serious hip injury.
There was an outpouring of support for 31-year-old throughout the sporting world, with Kyrgios providing one of the most beautiful tributes on social media.
“Andy, I know you take me for a joker most of the time, but at least hear me out on this one old friend,” Kyrgios wrote on social media.
“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.”
Kyrgios – who views Murray as somewhat of a brother figure – credited the Brit with looking out for him and providing guidance when the Aussie was a relative newcomer on the men’s tour.
‘I’ve been in a lot of pain’
Britain’s only men’s singles champion in more than 80 years intends to play in the season-opening major at Melbourne Park and hopes to bid farewell to his legion of fans at The All England Club in July.
But after slipping to No.230 after last year’s hip surgery, the former world No.1 said there was a chance he wouldn’t make it beyond the Open starting on Monday.
“I’m not feeling good. I’ve obviously been struggling for a long time,” the 31-year-old said.
“I’ve been in a lot of pain for probably about 20 months now.
“I can still play to a level, (although) not a level that I’m happy playing at. But it’s not just that – the pain is too much really.
“I don’t want to continue playing that way. I’ve tried pretty much everything to get it right and that hasn’t worked.”