Pain Forces Andy Murray To Retire This Year – Mondays with Bob Greene

Mondays with Bob Greene

STARS

 

Petra Kvitova beat Ashleigh Barty 1-6 7-5 7-6 (3) to win the Sydney International women’s singles in Sydney, Australia

Tennys Sandgren beat Cameron Norrie 6-4 6-2 to win the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand

Alex de Minaur beat Andreas Seppi 7-5 7-6 (5) to win the Sydney International men’s singles in Sydney, Australia

Sofia Kenin beat Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-4 6-0 to win the Hobart International in Hobart, Australia

SAYINGS

“It’s surreal. I couldn’t think of a better place to get my first win.” – Alex de Minaur, a 19-year-old Australian who earned his first tournament title at the Sydney International.

“It was such a great final, to be honest, I think. It was a big fight until the end. That’s the way (a) final should be.” – Petra Kvitova, who won her second Sydney International women’s title.

“I left everything out here but it wasn’t quite enough.” – Ashleigh Barty, after losing the Sydney International final to Petra Kvitova.

“It might have looked easy, but every game was close and I knew I had to play well.” – Sofia Kenin, after winning the Hobart International.

“I’m a little bit at a loss for words actually. A lot of work, a lot of training, a lot sacrifice goes in to even making a final and to get a win.” – Tennys Sandgren, whose first ATP World Tour title came in Auckland, New Zealand.

“A second surgery is an option. I wouldn’t be taking the option to have a surgery to resurface and replace my hip with the view to playing at the highest level again. The number one reason to have something so serious is improve your quality of life and being in less pain. Athletes have had operations like that done and come back to play, but certainly not in tennis and in singles.” – Andy Murray.

“Seems like he had not very long career because today players are playing that long. But he’s 31. Ten years ago, if he retired at 31, we will say he had a great and very long career. We will miss him. But today is him. Tomorrow another one. We are not 20 anymore. Our generation, everyone is more than 30s.” – Rafael Nadal.

“He is not afraid of his own sensitiveness, on the contrary. To me, he has been undervalued as a man, not as a tennis player.” – Amelie Mauresmo, who Andy Murray hired as his coach from 2014-16.

“We’ll all forever remember the mark he left on our sport … but I’ll also never forget the afternoon he carved out of his busy training schedule to help raise money for our kids’ foundation. This guy has a heart of gold and will always be a legend in tennis and life.” – Bob Bryan.

“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.” – Nick Kyrgios.

“Favorite Andy moment? Being asked if I’d enjoyed it after he had just smoked me in front of 18,000 people.” – Liam Broady.

“Keep fighting Andy, you’ve got a heart of pure gold! You’re most definitely one of the most liked and respected players on the tour. I know all of us girls in the locker room are in awe & so grateful for how you always fight in our corner! Thank you so much for that.” – Heather Watson.

“I was disappointed and sad, a little bit shocked, to know now that we’re going to lose him at some point. But we’re going to lose everybody at some point. It’s just now that it’s definite.” – Roger Federer.

“He was always my favorite, and I think it will be a huge loss for tennis in general, but also for the WTA. Because even nowadays, when you think everything is equal, you still need men, especially successful men, to speak up for women.” – Andrea Petkovic.

“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. Your greatest impact on the world may be yet to come. Your voice for equality will inspire future generations.” – Billie Jean King.

“He is someone who simply never gets fatigued. Indestructible. Andy is someone who will fight for everything. He is someone who was always searching for something huge. Ever since I have known him, he always wanted to be number one and win Slams. He wanted to do something big for the Davis Cup and did it. He was always someone who challenges himself.” – Alex Corretja.

“It hits us top guys hard because we know Andy very well. We like him. He doesn’t have any 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. He’s a great guy. It’s a tough one, but down the road he can look back and be incredibly proud of everything he has achieved.” – Roger Federer.

SAYING SAYONARA

A three-time Grand Slam tournament champion, twice an Olympic gold medalist and one of the Big Four, Andy Murray will retire this year because of pain. While he says he plans to retire after this year’s Wimbledon, he fears this week’s Australian Open could be the final tournament of his career. “I’m not sure I’m able to play through the pain for another four or five months,” said the 31-year-old Murray, who is trying to recover from hip surgery. “I want to get to Wimbledon and stop, but I’m not certain I can do that.” The former world number one underwent hip surgery in January. “I’m not feeling good, I’ve been struggling for a long time,” he said. “I’ve been in a lot of pain for about 20 months now. I’ve pretty much done everything I could to try and get my hip feeling better and it hasn’t helped loads. … I can still play to a level, but not a level I have played at.” He won the gold medal in men’s singles at the 2012 London Olympics, then later that year became the first male Briton to win the men’s singles at Wimbledon since 1936. In 2015, he led Great Britain to the Davis Cup title – also a first since 1936 – then, in 2016, won Wimbledon for the second time before repeating his Olympic victory, this time in Rio de Janeiro. That was also the year he took over the number one spot in the rankings and was granted a knighthood. “The pain is too much really,” said Murray. “I need to have an end point because I’m playing with no idea of when the pain will stop.” Combining speed, resourcefulness and intensity, Murray joined Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic as the “Big Four” in men’s tennis. Nearly one-third of his career losses have come against those three rivals, yet he is the only player to have defeated Federer in a grass-court final, Djokovic in a hard-court final and Nadal in a clay-court final. He is one of three men – Federer and his former coach Ivan Lendl are the others – to have finished as runner-up at all four majors. In 2014, Murray, a native of Dunblane, Scotland, made history by hiring Amelie Mauresmo, a Wimbledon women’s singles champion, as his coach.

SECOND SYDNEY WIN

It wasn’t easy, but Petra Kvitova finally won her second Sydney International title, this time outlasting home favorite Ashleigh Barty in three sets. Kvitova, who also won four years ago, broke Barty in the 11th game of the second set, then held to force the decider. “Ash, I know it’s a tough one. For sure, it’s hurting not to win at home,” Kvitova said. This could be the last Sydney International, a tournament with a history dating back to 1885, in its current format. The ATP Cup will be held in Sydney next year.

 

SEPPI TOPPER

Australian teenager Alex de Minaur wore down Italy’s Andreas Seppi to capture his first career title. It was de Minaur’s second match in five hours; the 19-year-old first beat Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-3 6-2 in the rain-delayed semifinals. De Minaur is the first Australian to win the Sydney International men’s title since Bernard Tomic in 2013. “You guys don’t know how much it means to win in front of all of you, in front of my home (crowd),” de Minaur told the post-match crowd. Born in Sydney, de Minaur is the youngest winner of the tournament since Lleyton Hewitt claimed the title in 2001. Di Minaur came from behind in both sets, and after the final point fell flat on his back in celebration before kissing the court. “It’s crazy to have this actually happen,” the winner said. “I thought it wouldn’t happen.”

SOFIA’S FIRST TITLE

American Sofia Kenin became a champion for the first time when she beat Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in the Hobart International women’s finale. After splitting the first six games, the 20-year-old raced through the next nine to completely dominate her opponent. Kenin didn’t drop a set in the tournament while beating top-seeded Caroline Garcia and former Hobart champion Alize Cornet in her run to the title. “I didn’t want to overthink it and I’m happy with the way I composed myself,” Kenin said, who had teamed with Eugenie Bouchard the previous week to win the doubles in Auckland, New Zealand. “I couldn’t ask for a better start,” Kenin said.

SINGULAR FEAT

Tennys Sandgren also won his first singles title, beating Cameron Norrie in the ASB Classic final. The 27-year-old American broke Norrie in his first service game and won the tournament without dropping a set. “I’m kind of speechless,” Sandgren said. “I was just grateful that I could be out here and could play and compete. I’ve had some injuries and just to be healthy and play well has been good.” While the American never trailed, it wasn’t an easy win. Norrie broke back in the fourth game of the opener, then immediately lost his serve again. Sandgren saved a break point in the eighth game before serving out the set in 41 minutes. The American won the title on his second championship point.

 

STATUE COMING

The All England Club says it will honor Andy Murray with a statue at Wimbledon. “For sure, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that,” said Richard Lewis, Wimbledon chief executive, when the question of a statue was raised. “We always felt that when Andy retired, that would be the appropriate time to recognize his extraordinary career.”

 

SAYING GOODBYE

The CEO and executive director of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), Gordon Smith, is retiring after 12 years on the job. Under Smith, the national governing body finished the five-year, USD $600 million transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center that included two new stadiums plus a retractable roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium. He also oversaw construction of the 100-court USTA National Campus in Orlando, Florida, USA.

SETTING A DATE

Feliciano Lopez and model Sandra Gago have announced their engagement. The magazine Hola reported Lopez gave his fiancé a golden white-colored ring made up of diamonds. It will be the second marriage for the Spanish tennis player. He wed another model, Alba Carrillo, in 2015. That marriage lasted 11 months.

SPANISH ARRESTS

Authorities say a crackdown on tennis match-fixing has resulted in a number of arrests in Spain. In a statement, the Spanish Civil Guard reported that a number of professional tennis players were included, including one “who took part in the most recent US Open.” The statement said the arrests included the “leaders of the organization” and alleged that Spanish tennis player Marc Fornell-Mestres, who was ranked as high as 236th in the world, was responsible for contacts between the fixers and players. Fornell-Mestres was provisionally suspended in 2018 by the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU).

SHARED PERFORMANCES

Auckland: Ben McLachlan and Jan-Lennard Struff beat Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus 6-3 6-4

Hobart: Chan Hao-Ching and Latisha Chan beat Kirsten Flipkens and Johanna Larsson 6-3 3-6 10-6 (match tiebreak)

Sydney (men): Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares beat Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 6-4 6-3

Sydney (women): Aleksandra Krunic and Katarina Siniakova beat Eri Hozumi and Alicja Rosolska 6-1 7-6 (3)

 

SURFING

Melbourne: https://ausopen.com/

Newport Beach: https://oraclechallengerseries.com/newport-beach/

TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK

MEN and WOMEN

Australian Open, Melbourne, Australia, hard (first week)

TOURNAMENTS NEXT WEEK

 

MEN and WOMEN

Australian Open, Melbourne, Australia, hard (second week)

$162,480 Oracle Challenger, Newport Beach, California, USA, hard

WOMEN

Australian Open, Melbourne, Australia, hard (second week)

$162,480 Oracle Challenger, Newport Beach, California, USA, hard

Andy Murray

Andy Murray

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