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Australian Open – A voice for equality, Andy Murray’s affect goes nicely past his on-court accomplishments

MELBOURNE — Reward continued to pour in for Andy Murray on the Australian Open on Saturday, 24 hours after...

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Australian Open - A voice for equality, Andy Murray's influence goes well beyond his on-court accomplishments


MELBOURNE — Reward continued to pour in for Andy Murray on the Australian Open on Saturday, 24 hours after his announcement that he plans to retire from tennis after Wimbledon due to a hip harm.

However amid all of the tributes for his on-court achievements, which included three Grand Slam titles, Davis Cup glory and two Olympic gold medals, it was clear that Murray had a genuinely profound impact for what he did and who he was off the court docket.

“He is a traditional particular person,” mentioned Nick Kyrgios, whom Murray took beneath his wing when the Australian was an up-and-coming participant. “Once I frolicked with him, he was humorous. Did not take himself too severely. Each time I hung round him, I felt snug round him on a regular basis. He form of felt like he was, like, 20. He was slightly bit immature at occasions. He was so pleasant, humble, right down to earth. Only a regular man. He is a legend of the game, however I by no means noticed it like that.”

Trustworthy, courteous and self-deprecating, Murray all the time has been well liked by his fellow gamers, as virtually all of them who have been scheduled for media day right here Saturday famous. Murray was beneficiant along with his time, pleased to supply recommendation or just have enjoyable, which in so some ways belied how he got here throughout on the court docket.

However the method through which Murray has stood up for equal rights for women and men on tour, particularly on the subject of equal prize cash, has made him a fair larger position mannequin inside the sport and out of doors it.

As Billie Jean King mentioned on Twitter on Friday: “Andy Murray, you’re a champion on and off the court docket. So sorry you can’t retire by yourself phrases however bear in mind to look to the long run. Your biggest impression on the world could also be but to return. Your voice for equality will encourage future generations. A lot like to you & your loved ones.”

To suppose that in his early days, Murray used to need to reply questions like: “Why do you look so depressing on court docket?” His critical demeanor was off-putting to some.

From the second he received his first matches at Wimbledon as an 18-year-old in 2005 and picked up his first title in San Jose in 2006, Murray has lived his skilled life within the highlight, the nice hope for tennis in Britain, a rustic starved of success for thus lengthy.

That he managed to ship beneath all that stress is outstanding sufficient. His two Wimbledon titles alone give him a particular place within the report books. However his extra profound impression got here within the phrases he spoke. Murray grew to become a number one voice in preventing sexism in tennis, advocating for equal prize money. What we discovered about Murray as time went on was that he had a robust ethical compass.

“He was all the time my favourite,” mentioned German participant Andrea Petkovic. “I believe will probably be an enormous loss for tennis typically, but in addition for the WTA. As a result of even these days, whenever you suppose all the pieces is equal, you continue to want males, particularly profitable males, to talk up for ladies.”

Pam Shriver, an ESPN tennis analyst who received 22 Grand Slam doubles titles, mentioned Murray can be remembered for each his on-court achievements and off-court humanity.

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2:23

British tennis gamers Johanna Konta, Kyle Edmund and Dan Evans gave their ideas after Andy Murray introduced his retirement plans.

“A male management voice that stands out and is excellent throughout a difficult time for gender points,” she tweeted. “Andy was in a position to attain No. 1 throughout the Federer, Nadal, Djokovic period, making it the period of the massive 4.”

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal has identified Murray since they have been kids, dreaming of sooner or later turning into professionals.

“We shared competitions under-13, under-14. We all know one another since a really lengthy, very long time in the past,” Nadal mentioned, earlier than breaking right into a smile. “When he was a child, he was little bit a foul boy.

“Then, in fact, you have got an evolution in your persona. And sure, on the finish of the day, you recognize quite a bit your rivals since you shared lot of vital moments in our lives.”

Girls’s world No. 1 Simona Halep additionally had nothing however reward for Murray the particular person.

“It is actually unhappy,” she mentioned. “The tour will miss him, as a result of for certain we are going to miss him.”

Murray’s tennis accomplishments have been surpassed by few. However as we have been reminded Saturday, Andy Murray the particular person away from the court docket is that rather more spectacular.

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2:27

Andy Murray publicizes he plans to retire from tennis this yr resulting from his proper hip harm, admitting he is been “struggling for a very long time.”



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