Roger Federer has said he was sad and shocked to learn of Andy Murray’s retirement plans.
Speaking in Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open, the Swiss player said: “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.
“Of course, I hope that he can play a good Australian Open and he can keep playing beyond that, really finish the way he wants to at Wimbledon. That’s what I hope for him.”
Murray, 31, announced on Friday that he intended to quit tennis after Wimbledon but also said that injury may prevent him from playing beyond this month’s Australian Open.
The three-time Grand Slam champion and former world number one said his hip had been “severely damaged” and, despite surgery he had been playing with the pain “for a number of years”.
Federer, who is currently ranked number three in the world, said: “I guess everybody can understand where he comes from.
“At some point when you feel like you’re never going to get back to 100%, you’ve had the success that Andy has had, you can only understand the decision.”
Murray’s retirement also perhaps makes Federer more aware that the era of the ‘Big Four’ – himself, Murray, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal – is closer to its end.
He said: “Of course, it hits us top guys hard because we know Andy very well. We like him.
“He doesn’t have many 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.”
Both players start their Australian Open campaigns on Monday.