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Djokovic believes Murray has one more Wimbledon left in him

Murray, who lifted the 2013 Wimbledon title to end Britain's 77-year wait for a men's singles champion and also won the crown in 2016, will only play doubles this year after having surgery for a spinal cyst on June 22 and failing to recover fully.
Last Updated : 02 July 2024, 21:21 IST

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London: Novak Djokovic described Andy Murray as an inspiration to fellow players for his resilience and backed him to return to Wimbledon in 2025 despite the Briton announcing his farewell after pulling out of the singles competition on Tuesday.

Murray, who lifted the 2013 Wimbledon title to end Britain's 77-year wait for a men's singles champion and also won the crown in 2016, will only play doubles this year after having surgery for a spinal cyst on June 22 and failing to recover fully.

The latest injury denied the 37-year-old Scot, who had hip-resurfacing surgery in 2019 to resurrect his career, a fitting swansong at the site of his most famous triumph.

"Hopefully he can get another shot at next year's Wimbledon with singles. Knowing him, he's going to try to do that," said Djokovic, who lost to Murray in the final of the grasscourt Grand Slam 11 years ago.

"Incredible resilience throughout his career. Multiple Grand Slam winner. Legend of the game. Number one in the world ... Just a huge inspiration to all the players. He doesn't mind getting on court for hours every day. Incredible professional.

"His approach is something to study. His will to push and see how far he can go, even with an artificial hip, is something that's inspiring but also serves as a great example to a lot of athletes, younger ones, that complain about this and that.

"He has left a great mark on and off the court for tennis. But something tells me that he'll keep going. He has every right to say when it's the finish line for him. If he wants to keep going, no doubt people will be very happy about it."

Draper pays tribute

Murray may not have reached the heights he did before his hip operation but world number four Alexander Zverev said the latter part of the three-times major champion's career was equally significant.

"I think there's two parts to his career: pre-injury and after injury. For me the after injury part is more impressive. The way he was fighting and showed passion for the sport, he really gained followers," Zverev said.

"He really gained the love of the crowd after the injury, just really showing how much he actually loves the sport, how much he appreciates being on the court.

"Not everybody would have said 'I'm going to accept that I'm going to be 30 or 40 in the world but I'm going to do everything I can and fight for every single match, every single point, that I still can give to sport'.

"That deserves the most respect."

Jack Draper, who beat Elias Ymer in five sets after their match was moved to Centre Court following Murray's withdrawal, paid a touching tribute to his fellow Briton.

"I really enjoyed it. To play in front of you guys, I missed it last year, not being able to play. You probably wanted to see Andy out here but you were stuck with me instead," Draper said.

"I wouldn't be here without Andy. He's an incredible guy off the court, so funny, so genuine. One of a kind.

"What a competitor and what a champion. Thank you very much."

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Published 02 July 2024, 21:21 IST

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