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Andy Murray’s Wimbledon Farewell Tour Starts With Doubles Loss Alongside Brother

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There were tears from Andy Murray, standing ovations from the Centre Court crowd, and a video tribute featuring messages from Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Venus Williams. All of this was part of the first stop on the two-time Wimbledon singles champion’s farewell tour at the tournament that has meant so much to him. On Thursday, Murray played a doubles match alongside his brother.

The Murrays lost 7-6 (6), 6-4 in the first round of men’s doubles against Rinky Hijikata and John Peers, but the result was secondary on this special evening.

“The match itself, it was tough, physically. It was hard for me. … I was fortunate I was even able to get on the court to play,” said Murray, who had surgery to remove a cyst from his spine less than two weeks ago, forcing him to withdraw from singles.

“It was pretty emotional,” Murray said about the postmatch tribute. “Watching the video was nice, but hard as well, for me. Because you know it’s coming to the end of something that you absolutely loved doing for such a long time. So that was difficult.”

This match marked the first time in nearly 30 years that a men’s doubles first-round match was played in the event’s main stadium. It was a fitting way for Murray to begin his farewell and for his fans to express their gratitude and best wishes.

Murray, a 37-year-old from Scotland, has announced he will retire after competing at the All England Club, where he is also entered in mixed doubles with 2021 U.S. Open winner Emma Raducanu, and the Paris Olympics later this month.

Though Murray occasionally appeared to be in discomfort and fidgeted with his back, he still managed to let out a celebratory scream after hitting a forehand return winner to break serve at 2-0 in the second set, a reminder of the skill that helped him reach No. 1 in the rankings.

This was the first time the Murray brothers played together at the All England Club. They shared fist bumps before the match began and slapped palms between points. Their mother, Judy, who taught them tennis, was in a guest box with Andy’s wife, Kim, and two of their four children.

Jamie’s younger brother, Andy, became a superstar by winning Wimbledon in 2013, making him the first British man to win singles at the All England Club in 77 years. He won the title again in 2016.

His other Grand Slam victory was at the U.S. Open in 2012, the same year he won his first singles gold medal at the London Olympics at Centre Court. “One of my favorite days I’ve ever had, certainly as an athlete,” he said Thursday. He won another gold medal at Rio de Janeiro in 2016, making him the only player with two consecutive singles gold medals.

Murray displayed some of his usual mannerisms, such as tugging on the brim of his white hat, pulling on the tongues of his shoes, and clenching his fist while looking up at the stands. However, there was less of the fiery outbursts he was known for, the cursing and muttering directed at his team or himself.

Roger Federer remarked, “But you were never alone. Because while you carried your own dreams, you also carried theirs,” referring to Murray’s many fans.

After the ceremony, Murray was greeted by several current and former players, including Djokovic, Iga Swiatek, Lleyton Hewitt, Holger Rune, Cam Norrie, Martina Navratilova, and John McEnroe.

Finally, Murray walked over to his brother, and they hugged.

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