Federer opens Australian title defence as Murray hobbles into action

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They had a practice match together in Melbourne Park on the eve of Murray's teary news conference Friday, where he revealed the pain from his surgically-repaired right hip was so bad that he'd made a decision to retire after attempting one more run at Wimbledon - if he can make it that far.

Despite the rivalry, Djokovic and Murray remained close friends, and Andy asked Nole to play a warm-up match at this Australian Open to test his body.

Roger Federer (R) says he was shocked that tennis was to lose "legend" Andy Murray (L) this year and the Scot should be "incredibly proud" of all he had achieved.

"I don't think anyone will dominate", McEnroe added.

Which brings us to his match with Bautista Agut, the 30-year-old Spaniard who could be the last man ever to share a court with Murray at a professional level.

"And I will continue to hope that the powers that be will find a way to capitalise on his success to create a lasting tennis legacy in Scotland and help to make us a fitter, healthier and more ambitious nation".

Nadal said: "Of course it's very bad news".

Murray, the first top male player to take on a female coach in Amelie Mauresmo, questioned Sharapova's excuse that she was taking the drug for a heart condition and also criticised her racquet sponsor Head for standing by her after she was caught.

The 2019 Australian Open, the tennis season's first Grand Slam, begins Monday, Jan. 14, at Rod Laver Arena inside Melbourne Park and will conclude with the men's and women's singles championship Sunday, Jan. 27.

"I hope it doesn't end with an injury", Federer said to of his own career.

In today's column, Judy, who is at his side in Melbourne, writes: "Though these are hard days right now, I'm sure Andy will continue to have a huge impact on the world of tennis".

"I guess everybody can understand where he comes from. Obviously it was something that I really wanted, a big dream of mine to win a grand slam, and it was an awesome feeling and an incredible two weeks".

"She hasn't played since the US Open, but she played Hopman Cup, she looked good, looked in good form". Anybody would substitute their career with his. I want to do it as long as I can and give myself the best possibilities to fight for the things really I am passionate about, and to keep doing the things that I really enjoy doing.

After her breakthrough here a year ago, she didn't get beyond the fourth round at the other majors, but says she feels like she's hitting the ball well.

"But we're going to lose everybody at some point". I was happy we had some rallies.

'But I know is not always the right thing and easy thing to do'. "I've always been focused on tactics and winning and finding a way". "But I know that it's likely that I won't and it's going to be uncomfortable".