Just when we thought the first week of the 2019 tennis season couldn’t be beat, week two comes out and DELIVERS.
While most players were finishing Australian Open preparations — whether it be at tournaments in Sydney, Auckland or Hobart; or the practice courts in Melbourne — one of tennis’s biggest names sent shockwaves through the community when he announced the 2019 will be his final season.
Andy Murray’s announcement comes as a major surprise despite his recent struggles with injury. After a career-defining 2016 which saw him win a second gold medal, his third Grand Slam, the year-ending championships in London as well as finishing the season at World No. 1, the Briton underwent hip surgery, which he has since had difficulties recovering from.
Fellow ‘Big Four’ players Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have all had recent injury woes themselves, but were able to return to competition to reclaim the top spot in the rankings. Murray hasn’t been as fortunate, however, and if there’s any player who understands what he’s been through, it’s the oft-injured 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. 🙏
— Juan M. del Potro (@delpotrojuan) January 11, 2019
Canadians Vasek Pospisil and Milos Raonic also took to social media to express their thoughts on Murray’s big announcement.
So sad for @andy_murray . Hands down one of the best guys on tour. So much respect for him as an all around athlete and person. Hope his body can recover. If not, he will be missed by all. 😔
— Vasek Pospisil (@VasekPospisil) January 11, 2019
— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) January 11, 2019
Earlier in the week, Genie Bouchard secured her reign as social media’s queen bee with this witty response to a troll on Caroline Wozniacki’s Instagram account. 😂
Just keepin it real 🤷🏼♀️ https://t.co/zxLVsXxNpC
— Genie Bouchard (@geniebouchard) January 9, 2019
Félix Auger-Aliassime, whose tennis-coach father hails from the African nation of Togo, had a reflective moment when he saw this inventive stringing method posted by the ITF.
— Félix AugerAliassime (@felixtennis) January 8, 2019
Bianca Andreescu not only turned heads with her tennis the other week in Auckland, but with her very… expressive reactions during the matches. She’s so GIF-able, this one!
Sheeesh another GIF with so many caption ideas hahahah
“When you’re completely done with everyone’s bs”
“When you can’t decide what to get on the menu”
“When your answer is 47 but everyone else in the class got 127.60” https://t.co/44LlVSIR6p
— Bianca V. Andreescu (@Bandreescu_) January 7, 2019
Popular Aus Open champion pick Elina Svitolina took to the practice courts at Melbourne Park alongside defending champion Caroline Wozniacki.
— Elina Svitolina (@ElinaSvitolina) January 9, 2019
Two-time Grand Slam champ Victoria Azarenka returns to the site of her two Grand Slams (2012, 2013) for the first time in three years since the birth of her son Leo. Safe to say she’s impressed with the facility improvements!
Hello Melbourne @AustralianOpen I have to say wow! Great job with all the new renovations and facilities for players and fans. So exciting
— victoria azarenka (@vika7) January 9, 2019
Stan Wawrinka has put in the hard yards to become the incredible champion he is today… but his talent as a child was undeniable. Check out that backhand technique… 🤤
— Stanislas Wawrinka (@stanwawrinka) January 9, 2019
Six-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic hasn’t triumphed Down Under since 2016, but was nearly untouchable before then. Now that he’s back to No. 1, fit, and on a two-Slam win streak… it’s easy to imagine the Serb with his fifteenth Slam trophy when the Melbourne fortnight is complete.
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) January 8, 2019
(Feature photo: AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)