Andy Murray: Tennis star hailed as ‘legend’ by Nicola Sturgeon

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Sir Andy Murray has been hailed a “legend” by the Scottish First Minister after the tennis star announced he will retire this year.

Nicola Sturgeon led praise from near and far after the dual Olympic champion fought back tears as he announced the coming Australian Open could be his final tournament.

Great Britain's Andy Murray wins his first Wimbledon trophy after beating Serbia's Novak Djokovic in 2013. Picture: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Great Britain's Andy Murray wins his first Wimbledon trophy after beating Serbia's Novak Djokovic in 2013. Picture: Adam Davy/PA Wire

He admitted difficulties in playing with a recurring hip problem, but said he hopes to make Wimbledon in the summer, though he could not confirm that would be the case.

READ MORE: Andy Murray announces retirement from tennis in tearful speech

After watching his announcement in an emotional press conference, Ms Sturgeon tweeted: “Andy Murray is a legend – without doubt one of Scotland’s greatest ever sportsmen, as well as an outstanding role model and inspiration for young people everywhere.

“A credit to sport and to the country. Sending him very best wishes.”

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard also called Sir Andy “one of our country’s greatest ever sportsmen”.

He said: “I’ll be cheering him on in the Australian Open and hopefully Wimbledon too.”

Tracey Crouch, the UK Sports Minister when Sir Andy claimed his second Wimbledon title in 2016, said she was “sorry” to hear of his retirement.

She said: “He’s such a phenomenal competitor in an era of other great players, a champion for equality in sport and a genuinely nice guy.

“I think his legacy of inspiring the next generation will live long.”

As well as his glittering tennis career, he was also hailed by Labour MP Jess Phillips for being a “normal bloke and best of all a casual feminist”.

His decision to appoint Amelie Mauresmo as his coach in 2014 is considered a groundbreaking moment in the sport.

READ MORE: Andy Murray retirement: Tennis stars pay tribute to ‘role model’ Scot

Questions have been raised over what will come next for Sir Andy, who already acts as an official mentor for young sports men and women through his management company.

Rising tennis star Katie Swan tweeted: “You were my biggest idol growing up and now I’m lucky enough to call you my mentor @andy_murray thank you for showing me what it means to never give up.”

The programme even reached his beloved Hibernian Football Club where two players are under the Grand Slam winner’s stewardship.

In a tweet from Hibs’ official account, head coach Neil Lennon said: “Andy Murray is an inspiration and a role model. He’s been the ideal mentor to Fraser Murray and Ryan Porteous.

“I hope he’s able to finish an incredible career on his terms. Everyone at Hibernian Football Club is rooting for him.”

Meanwhile Scottish drinks company Irn Bru tweeted its own tribute with an old picture of Sir Andy sipping from a bottle with the simple caption: “Here’s to you, @Andy_Murray”.