Andy Murray’s peers react on his impending retirement

Britain’s Andy Murray leaves a press conference to compose himself at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne. (Source: AP)

In a bombshell press conference at Melbourne Park ahead of Australian Open, Andy Murray announced this year would be his last as a professional tennis player. To add to the emotional scenes, the Briton said the pain due to the hip injury could well mean that the tournament in Melbourne would be his last. Five-times a runner up at Melbourne Park, Murray had surgery on the joint a year ago and has been unable to recover his best form.

"The pain is too much, really … I’m not sure I’m able to play through the pain for another four or five months. The pain is not allowing me to enjoy competing or training or any of the stuff I love about tennis," said Murray while struggling to hold back tears. The 31-year-old told reporters that he had hoped to play until at least Wimbledon but it looked unlikely.

Former and current players and coaches reacted to the news of three-time Grand Slam winner and two-time Olympics gold medallist calling it quits.

AUSTRALIA’s Nick Kyrgios: "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 "

FORMER WORLD NUMBER ONE BILLIE JEAN KING: "@andy_murray 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. Much love to you & your family."

Australia’s Sam Stosur: "He’s been a fantastic player, champion. I mean, he’s been a massive advocate for women’s tennis and women’s sport in general. I know in the locker room whenever we hear him kinda stick up for us, we’re like, ‘Yeah, go Andy!"

FORMER U.S. OPEN CHAMPION JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: "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."

MURRAY’S FORMER COACH DARREN CAHILL: "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."

MURRAY’S FORMER COACH DANIEL VALLVERDU IN RESPONSE TO CAHILL: "Whatever you think ’emptying the bucket’ means… times that by 5 and that’s who @andy_murray is. Thank you Andy – thank you for always being you. #1"

FORMER U.S. OPEN CHAMPION ANDY RODDICK: "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"

FORMER WORLD NUMBER TWO MAGNUS NORMAN: "If true. Feel down to the bone for Andy Murray right now. Amazing player, fighter, nr 1 and multiple GS champion. Deepest respect."

FORMER GRAND SLAM DOUBLES CHAMPION PAM SHRIVER: "A male leadership voice that stands out and is outstanding during achallenging time for gender issues. Andy was able to reach #1 during the Federer Nadal Djokovic era making it the era of the big 4. My family is sending Andy all the love and support from Los Angeles. @JudyMurray"

RUSSIAN PLAYER KAREN KHACHANOV: "Really sad to hear that @andy_murray. You are a true champion of our sport and great example for all of us! Stay strong."

WORLD NUMBER 21 GRIGOR DIMITROV: "Tennis will come to an end for us all but the friendships will last a lifetime. What you’ve done for the sport will live on forever. I’m hoping for a strong and healthy finish for you, my friend! @andy_murray."

FELLOW SCOT AND SNOOKER GREAT STEPHEN HENDRY: "Hard to read that @andy_murray being forced to retire because of injury, no doubt one of Scotland’s greatest ever sportsmen."