Roger Federer says Andy Murray's retirement will hit top players hard

Tanya Simon
January 13, 2019

The Dane opens her title defense on Monday against Belgium's Alison Van Uytvanck. It is the defending champion's privilege. "I'm just taking it as a nice, fun challenge", she said.

"I feel like it's just leveling that out is one of my biggest goals I had during the off-season".

After her indefensible outburst at last year's US Open final, the American will be under intense scrutiny in Melbourne. Two weeks later it was mission accomplished, and the Dane snagged the No.1 ranking for the first time in six years. "Our generation, everyone is more than 30".

The Dane, who revealed that she has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis three months ago, returns to the scene of her greatest triumph with the pressure off after silencing her critics in last year's final against Simona Halep.

"There are always things to improve", said the Spaniard, who faces Australian wildcard James Duckworth on Monday. "I think he would be quite a good one".

'It's going to take time for me to deal with it. Then you just listen extra. "This is an investment and you have to assume that when you make an investment there may be better and worse moments". I'm confident that I think it needs a good performance by my opponent probably to beat me. "I don't know if that's also part of the equation".

Her time away from the tennis court wasn't restricted, either, to that one evening in the Romanian capital, where the world No. 1 has an apartment.

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Nadal said he was sad to hear another member of tennis fabled "big four", Andy Murray, was to quit tennis this year, possibly as early as next week, with chronic hip pain. "Like, I get to the ball faster, and I'm not as sore", she said. "I have a lot of places that are very special to me, thankfully".

"But I know that tennis is not forever".

"I am happy with the motivation to do something new". We played juniors together. He insisted on Friday that would be for quality of life reasons rather than with a comeback even in the back of his mind, but he has been talking to other players who have had the same procedure. It's kind of insane that all of a sudden she's not on tour any more.

The Danish third seed preferred to concentrate on her own prospects, dismissing concerns health problems were affecting her game. She's having a blast. I've been in a lot of pain for about 20 months now. I think she's skiing right now. "As I went along... it became harder". He's such a great athlete.

She too was not playing well; the umpire's decision to penalise her for being coached from the stands, for racquet abuse and calling him a "thief" set her off.

On the long fight for pay equality in tennis Murray has been out front saying, "Women should have equal pay, 100 per cent...." "I've had some tough ones against him in the past". It's never fun when it's not on your terms. I guess everybody can understand where he comes from. "That's sports sometimes. You can't help when your body says it's enough".

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