Swiss great Roger Federer hopes retiring Briton Andy Murray can finish his career “the way he wants” at Wimbledon later this year.

Meanwhile, world number one Novak Djokovic says he will carry “beautiful memories” from his time on and off court with the Scot.

Murray, 31, plans to retire after Wimbledon but admits the Australian Open could be his final tournament.

“The news has hit us top guys hard,” Federer, 37, said.

“I hope he can play a good Australian Open and he can keep playing beyond that.”

Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion and former world number one, has been suffering because of a hip injury. He plays Spanish 22nd seed Roberto Bautista Agut in Melbourne at about 07:00 GMT on Monday.

Although Federer is the defending champion at the Australian Open, and Djokovic goes into the tournament as the top seed, Murray’s impending retirement was – understandably – a prominent part of their first news conferences at Melbourne Park.

Murray has often been considered, alongside them and Rafael Nadal, as one of the ‘big four’ on the ATP Tour, even though he is well short of the Grand Slam victories recorded by his rivals.

Despite Federer turning 38 this year, and Nadal struggling with injury throughout his career, it is Murray who looks set to quit playing first after battling his hip injury for almost two years.

“I was disappointed and sad, a little bit shocked, to know now we’re going to lose him at some point,” said Federer, who has won an all-time record 20 Grand Slam singles titles.

“But we’re going to lose everybody at some point. It’s just now that it’s definite.”

In addition to his major titles, Murray also won two Olympic golds and 45 ATP tournaments, and led Britain to the 2015 Davis Cup.

“He won everything he wanted to win. Anybody would substitute their career with his,” added Federer.

“It’s a tough one, but on down the road he can look back on and be incredibly proud of everything he has achieved.”




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