Andy Murray shakes hands with Nick Kyrgios at Queens last year.
Andy Murray shakes hands with Nick Kyrgios at Queens last year.Source: AFP

He may polarise opinion but Nick Kyrgios was all kinds of classy with his tribute to Andy Murray following the Scot’s bombshell announcement that retirement is looming.

Murray’s tearful announcement on Friday that he’ll be forced to retire this year prompted a volley of tributes to the man, fond recollections of a historic career and encouragement to serve up a fitting farewell.

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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 🙌🏽🙏🏽

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And Kyrgios’ words were especially touching after he took to Instagram to honour their friendship.

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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 🙌🏽🙏🏽

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“,”scriptToLoad”:”“},{“contentType”:”HTML”,”html”:”

And Kyrgios’ words were especially touching after he took to Instagram to honour their friendship.

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“I know you take me for a joker most of the time, but at least hear me out on this one old friend,” the Aussie wrote. “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.

“},{“contentType”:”HTML”,”html”:”

“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.

“},{“contentType”:”VIDEO”,”marbleApiEnv”:”prod”,”playerType”:”player”,”videoId”:713945},{“contentType”:”HTML”,”html”:”

“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.

“},{“contentType”:”HTML”,”html”:”

“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.

“},{“contentType”:”HTML”,”html”:”

“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.”

“},{“contentType”:”HTML”,”html”:”

Just beautiful.

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Well played, Nick.

“},{“contentType”:”HTML”,”html”:”

WHAT YOU CONTROVERSIALLY WON’T SEE AT THIS YEAR’S AUSTRALIAN OPEN

“},{“contentType”:”HTML”,”html”:”

TENNIS WORLD IN AWE OF ‘BEST SHOT I’VE SEEN’

“},{“contentType”:”HTML”,”html”:”

DEMON WINS ALL-AUSSIE QUARTERFINAL TO ADVANCE IN SYDNEY

“},{“contentType”:”HTML”,”html”:”

THE SERENA SITUATION: IS IT THE CHAMPION AGAINST THE REST?

“},{“contentType”:”HTML”,”html”:””},{“contentType”:”VIDEO”,”marbleApiEnv”:”prod”,”playerType”:”player”,”videoId”:714012}],”richPrimaryAsset”:null,”primaryImage”:{“contentType”:”IMAGE”,”link”:”https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/8b3141909a0c18b334a9738240822db9″,”title”:”Andy Murray shakes hands with Nick Kyrgios at Queens last year.”,”originalSource”:”AFP”,”width”:1280,”height”:720},”commentsAllowed”:true},”byline”:{“isCrowd”:false,”author”:”Staff writers”,”authorImageUrl”:””,”authorTwitterHandle”:””},”primaryAssetVideoCS”:null,”paragraphIsoData”:[null,null,null,null,null,null,null,{“marbleStream”:{“category”:{“active”:{“adTag”:”TENNIS.AUSTRALIAN_OPEN”,”categoryPath”:”sport/tennis/australian open”,”title”:”Australian Open”},”primary”:{“adTag”:”TENNIS”,”categoryPath”:”sport/tennis”,”title”:”Tennis”}},”categoryId”:453,”channel”:false,”description”:”Tennis: Andy Murray’s career could be over after he revealed the Australian Open could be his last tournament due to a hip injury.”,”disableAds”:false,”duration”:”0:39″,”durationISO8601″:”PT39S”,”durationSeconds”:39,”expirationDate”:”2019-01-18T12:09:27+11:00″,”fixtureId”:null,”isGeoblocked”:true,”isLiveStream”:false,”isPremium”:false,”liveStreamEnd”:null,”liveStreamStart”:null,”marbleId”:713945,”playerLink”:”https://www.foxsports.com.au/video/tennis/australian-open/murrays-career-over!713945″,”playerRef”:”https://www.foxsports.com.au/video?v=murrays-career-over_0″,”posters”:{“largePlay”:”https://www.foxsports.com.au/pmd/images/2019/01/11/713946_640x360_large_play_20190111123942.jpg”,”large”:”https://www.foxsports.com.au/pmd/images/2019/01/11/713946_640x360_large_20190111123902.jpg”,”thumbnail”:”https://www.foxsports.com.au/pmd/images/2019/01/11/713946_152x86_thumbnail_20190111123822.jpg”},”primaryCategoryId”:241,”publishedDate”:”2019-01-11T12:44:08+11:00″,”round”:null,”season”:null,”series”:”284″,”site”:”foxsports”,”sources”:[{“src”:”https://foxsportshls-vh.akamaihd.net/i/free/geoblock/2019/01/11/DVU_110119_TEN_MURRAY_PRESSER_BREAKDOWN_201901111209/DVU_110119_TEN_MURRAY_PRESSER_BREAKDOWN_201901111209_,248,2628,1596,1096,896,564,.mp4.csmil/master.m3u8″,”bitrate”:0,”type”:”hls”,”mimeType”:”application/x-mpegURL”,”withCredentials”:false},{“src”:”https://foxsportspmd-a.akamaihd.net/free/geoblock/2019/01/11/DVU_110119_TEN_MURRAY_PRESSER_BREAKDOWN_201901111209/DVU_110119_TEN_MURRAY_PRESSER_BREAKDOWN_201901111209_1596.mp4″,”bitrate”:1596,”type”:”mp4″,”mimeType”:”video/mp4″,”withCredentials”:false}],”sport”:”tennis”,”title”:”Murray’s career over?”},”marbleApiVersion”:”1864″},null,null,null,null,null,null,null,null,null,null,null,{“marbleStream”:{“category”:{“active”:{“adTag”:”TENNIS.AUSTRALIAN_OPEN”,”categoryPath”:”sport/tennis/australian open”,”title”:”Australian Open”},”primary”:{“adTag”:”TENNIS”,”categoryPath”:”sport/tennis”,”title”:”Tennis”}},”categoryId”:453,”channel”:false,”description”:”Tennis: Novak Djokovic was shocked when he found out Andy Murray could retire as soon as the Australian Open tournament is finished due to a chronic hip injury.”,”disableAds”:false,”duration”:”1:22″,”durationISO8601″:”PT1M22S”,”durationSeconds”:82,”expirationDate”:”2019-01-18T21:24:20+11:00″,”fixtureId”:null,”isGeoblocked”:true,”isLiveStream”:false,”isPremium”:false,”liveStreamEnd”:null,”liveStreamStart”:null,”marbleId”:714012,”playerLink”:”https://www.foxsports.com.au/video/tennis/australian-open/djokovic-shocked-by-murray!714012″,”playerRef”:”https://www.foxsports.com.au/video?v=djokovic-shocked-by-murray_0″,”posters”:{“largePlay”:”https://www.foxsports.com.au/pmd/images/2019/01/11/714014_640x360_large_play_20190111213702.jpg”,”large”:”https://www.foxsports.com.au/pmd/images/2019/01/11/714014_640x360_large_20190111213639.jpg”,”thumbnail”:”https://www.foxsports.com.au/pmd/images/2019/01/11/714014_152x86_thumbnail_20190111213616.jpg”},”primaryCategoryId”:241,”publishedDate”:”2019-01-11T21:38:33+11:00″,”round”:null,”season”:null,”series”:null,”site”:”foxsports”,”sources”:[{“src”:”https://foxsportshls-vh.akamaihd.net/i/free/geoblock/2019/01/11/DVU_110119_TENNIS_NOVAK_MURRAY_201901112124/DVU_110119_TENNIS_NOVAK_MURRAY_201901112124_,248,2628,1596,1096,896,564,.mp4.csmil/master.m3u8″,”bitrate”:0,”type”:”hls”,”mimeType”:”application/x-mpegURL”,”withCredentials”:false},{“src”:”https://foxsportspmd-a.akamaihd.net/free/geoblock/2019/01/11/DVU_110119_TENNIS_NOVAK_MURRAY_201901112124/DVU_110119_TENNIS_NOVAK_MURRAY_201901112124_1596.mp4″,”bitrate”:1596,”type”:”mp4″,”mimeType”:”video/mp4″,”withCredentials”:false}],”sport”:”tennis”,”title”:”Djokovic shocked by Murray”},”marbleApiVersion”:”1864″}],”scorecardConfigIso”:{}},{“story”:{“id”:”bc489564a77824cfb76be58bccb322a0″,”dateLive”:”2019-01-11T10:43:00.000Z”,”dateUpdated”:”2019-01-11T10:43:44.000Z”,”description”:”

Andy Murray’s tearful announcement that 2019 will be his last as a professional tennis player has been met with widespread shock, but also adulation.

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The former world No. 1 broke down at a press conference at Melbourne Park, saying he’s been “struggling for a long time” and that Wimbledon would be his last dance.

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FULL AUS OPEN DRAW: AUSSIE MEN HANDED BRUTAL OPENERS

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‘THEY’RE AT LOGGERHEADS’: UGLY TENNIS FALLOUT REVEALED

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The popular Scot — who has sank to No. 240 in the world after undergoing hip surgery last year — was immediately flooded with messages of support.

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One player who has known Murray since they were both children, Novak Djokovic, was taken aback when the news was broken to him at a sponsor’s event in Melbourne.

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The 14-time Grand Slam champion paid tribute to Murray as a great rival who pushed him to succeed due to the Scot’s sheer force of competitiveness.

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“It’s quite a shocker for me because we’re the same age, the same generation,” Djokovic said.

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“It’s kind of sad to see him going through what he has been going through the last couple of years with his injuries.

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“As someone who has gone through a major injury with my elbow the last couple of years, I can definitely empathise with him and relate to what he’s going through. Obviously, the extent of his injuries are even worse than mine — hips and he had a back surgery and so forth.

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“I trained with him, practiced with him a couple of days ago and got to chat a little bit. He’s a great champion. He’s a friend of mine who I grew up with since we were 11, 12 years old.

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“We know each other, we’ve been rivals, we’ve played some epic matches all over the world.

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“It’s kind of sad to know he might play his last Australian Open, but I do wish him all the best. I know he’s the father of two children, so there’s a lot of things in life to be grateful for.”

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Juan Martin del Potro withdrew from this year’s Australian Open because of injury, but was left devastated after watching Murray’s emotional press conference.

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“Please don’t stop trying,” del Potro said.

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“I can imagine your pain and sadness. I hope you can overcome this.

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“You deserve to retire on your own terms, whenever that happens.

“},{“contentType”:”HTML”,”html”:”

“We love you Andy Murray and we want to see you happy and doing well.”

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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

“,”scriptToLoad”:”“},{“contentType”:”HTML”,”html”:”

“I tip my cap to Andy Murray,” Roddick said.

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“Absolute legend. Short list of best tacticians in history.

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“Unreal results in a brutal era. Nothing but respect here. I hope he can finish strong and healthy.”

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Andy Roddick also suggested Murray could bow out of tennis by partnering up with his brother, Jamie, at Wimbledon.

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“Would be a pretty cool moment to play doubles (with) his bro at Wimby if he can’t play singles,” Roddick said.

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Just thinking out loud here. He deserves his moment to say goodbye at Wimbledon. He’s too important to Great Britain and Wimbledon history to not have it….. Would be a pretty cool moment to play doubles w his bro at Wimby if he can’t play singles https://t.co/m7caeL2shX

— andyroddick (@andyroddick) January 11, 2019

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WHAT YOU CONTROVERSIALLY WON’T SEE AT THIS YEAR’S AUSTRALIAN OPEN

“},{“contentType”:”HTML”,”html”:”

TENNIS WORLD IN AWE OF ‘BEST SHOT I’VE SEEN’

“},{“contentType”:”HTML”,”html”:”

DEMON WINS ALL-AUSSIE QUARTERFINAL TO ADVANCE IN SYDNEY

“},{“contentType”:”HTML”,”html”:”

THE SERENA SITUATION: IS IT THE CHAMPION AGAINST THE REST?

“},{“contentType”:”HTML”,”html”:”

Darren Cahill — who has coached the likes of Andre Agassi, Lleyton Hewitt and Simona Halep, as well as Murray — was confident Murray would retire a content man.

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“When you search for example of ‘emptied the bucket to be as good as they could be’ there should be a picture of Andy Murray sitting under that quote,” Cahill said.

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“Remarkable discipline for training, competition, sacrifice, perfection, a little crazy, but a legend of a bloke.

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“Bravo Andy.”

“},{“identifier”:””,”contentType”:”SCRIPT”,”body”:”

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

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A raw and emotional first press conference at this #AusOpen, with Andy Murray accepting his tennis mortality and saying that Wimbledon this year, at the latest, will be his \”end point.\”

— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 11, 2019

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While a number of tennis personalities touched on Murray’s personality on and off the court, Andrea Petkovic spoke glowingly of Murray as a champion for women’s tennis.

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“He was always my favorite, and I think it will be a huge loss for tennis in general, but also for the WTA,” the German said.

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“Because even nowadays, when you think everything is equal, you still need men, especially successful men, to speak up for women.”

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Ashleigh Barty has continued her giantkilling run at the Sydney International with a thrilling three-set semi-final win over big-hitting world No.9 Kiki Bertens.

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Barty withstood 15 aces from Bertens and rallied from a set down to beat the Dutchwoman 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 7-5 in a quality two-hour, 18-minute encounter on Friday to advance to her second-successive final in Sydney.

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Experience the best of international tennis LIVE. SIGN UP NOW!

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The Australian No.1 will play Czech fifth seed Petra Kvitova or Serbian qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich in Saturday’s final, hoping to complete the perfect lead-up for next week’s Australian Open in Melbourne.

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After taking out 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the first round, Barty has toppled world No.1 Simona Halep, the 12th-ranked Elise Mertens and Bertens to send an ominious warning to her Open rivals.

“},{“contentType”:”HTML”,”html”:”

TAKE A LOOK AT THE ULTIMATE AUSTRALIAN OPEN GUIDE

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“It’s amazing — it truly has been a phenomenal week of tennis,” Barty said. “I feel like I’ve played great the whole week. I’ve had tough opponents every single round and I’m really excited to have another shot at the title.”

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The world No.15 has shown remarkable mental resolve to back up her career-best win over Halep two days ago.

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“Both Elise and Kiki were amazing opponents so that I knew I had to be switched on and play my best tennis to win.

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“That’s the best part of this tournament. It’s so strong; every single round could be a final.

“},{“contentType”:”HTML”,”html”:”

“So I have to be ready now and then I get to come out and enjoy tomorrow.”

“},{“contentType”:”HTML”,”html”:”

Barty said it would be a dream to become the first Australian winner in Sydney since Alicia Molik 14 years ago.

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Molik, who was courtside for Friday’s win, went on to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals a week later.

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“It would be amazing,” the 22-year-old said.

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“Mol — my Fed Cup captain, so I would love to try to be the next Australian. “But I’ll come out here tomorrow to enjoy it.”

“},{“contentType”:”HTML”,”html”:”

Barty battled back from an early service break down, only to blow a 4-1 lead in the first-set tiebreaker on Ken Rosewall Arena.

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Aided by three-consecutive unforced errors, including a double fault, Bertens reeled off six-straight points to snatch the opening set.

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“I missed my opportunity in the first set. I changed my mind a couple of times in that tiebreak and it cost me,” Barty said.

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“I knew all I had to do was hang around and fight as hard as I could and try to change it to my favour.”

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