Roger Federer has revealed his ‘shock and sadness’ that Andy Murray has been forced to call it quits.
His devastation was clear for all to see, and Federer has now revealed how he too has been left heartbroken by his rival’s ordeal.
“I was disappointed and sad and a little bit shocked to know now that we’re going to lose him at some point,” Federer said at Melbourne Park on Saturday.
“But we’re going to lose everybody at some point. It’s just now that it’s definite.
“I think his body took the decision (out of his hands) in this case. It must have been a very long couple of years for him now. I guess everybody can understand where he comes from.
“At some point when you feel like you’re never going to get back to 100 per cent, (and when) you’ve had the success that Andy has had, you can only understand the decision.
“I hope that he can play a good Australian Open and he can keep playing beyond that, really finish the way he wants to at Wimbledon. That’s what I hope for him.
“It hits us top guys hard because we know Andy very well. He doesn’t have many enemies, to be quite honest. He’s a good guy, Hall of Famer, legend.
“He won everything he wanted to win. Anybody would substitute their career with his.”
Nadal sees Murray retirement as a positive
Rafael Nadal believes Murray’s looming retirement is the correct move for his mental health, revealing the psychological toll of his own injury battles as he eyes off a return to Australian Open glory in the twilight of his career.
Murray, who hopes to play through until Wimbledon but is no certainty to do so, has battled a chronic hip injury for much of the past two years.
Nadal has himself been plagued by injuries and required ankle surgery in November which forced him to relinquish his world No.1 ranking.
Speaking ahead of his bid for an 18th grand slam title – and first at Melbourne Park since 2009 – Nadal paid tribute to his longtime rival and said while he had never reached such a tipping point, he could relate to Murray’s struggles.
“I am a positive guy. I always had the feeling that we’ll fix it,” the world No.2 said.
“But of course there are periods of time that you don’t see the light. It’s tough.
“My only goal has always been keep going. Even if a lot of days you go on court when you have troubles or you go to the gym without having a real goal or without knowing why I am going there, because I don’t see a benefit … you keep going.
“Probably (Murray) is fighting to keep going since a long time. If he doesn’t feel that the thing can go better, probably he does the right thing for his mental health.”