Rafael Nadal allays injury concerns, pays tribute to Andy Murray

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They may have to wait another year.

Murray is in Federer's half, but even he concedes he's unlikely to get past No. 22-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut on Monday night.

Among the more surprising coaching changes in the off-season was Halep's split from long-time mentor Darren Cahill, who wants to spend more time with his family.

"When you search for examples of "emptied the bucket to be as good as they could be" there should be a picture of Andy Murray sitting under that quote", he tweeted. "It hits us top guys hard because we know Andy very well". We like him. He's a good guy, Hall of Famer, legend.

"I was disappointed and sad, a little bit shocked, to know now that we're going to lose him at some point", Federer said of Murray. "It's just now that it's definite", he added, acknowledging that the era of the "Big Four" - himself, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Murray was drawing inexorably to a close.

There are some intriguing match-ups at the Australian Open so we've selected five of the best you must keep an eye on.

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"I'm not sure I'm able to play through the pain for another four of five months".

For me, I've got Novak facing off against Kei in the quarterfinal, and - given his track record against the Japanese player (15-2 over the years) - I've got Novak advancing through to the semis. But it was for a good cause. It's hardly surprising that we're hearing this, when less than 3% of people shown playing sport in national newspapers are women. "Wimbledon stands out as maybe a place but there are many others".

"I can't say that because I didn't have that experience, but in some way I can speak about similarities that I had in my career". "It just maybe looks that way".

Prime Minister Theresa May said: "Andy Murray has had a fantastic career and time and time again has made this nation proud... he will be remembered as one of the best and most successful athletes of his or any generation".

Hibs Manager Neil Lennon tweeted: "Andy Murray is an inspiration and a role model".

Norrie comes into the tournament having reached his first ATP final in Auckland last week, although he lost to American Tennys Sandgren in straight sets. "So it will be interesting to see what's going to happen", he said.

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As if the world No. 1 needed any assistance, right?

That, it turned out, was the beginning of the spiral of ill-health that culminated in last week's emotional announcement.

This has led all the way to Monday morning's unpredictable occasion when he takes on world No 23 Bautista Agut.

Murray had right hip surgery in January 2018 and, after two brief attempts to return to the tour, played only 12 matches in the year. The three-time Grand Slam victor said he hopes to retire after the Wimbledon tournament in July, but could step away from the sport by the end of this month's Australian Open, depending on his health.

He declared himself in good shape for his own opener on Monday against risky Uzbek Denis Istomin.

"Andy has tried really hard and explored every option that has any real possibility of being helpful".

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"It was very obvious for everyone, you saw it, you didn't need to be on court, to notice that he's struggling, that he's not moving as well as he normally does", said Djokovic.

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