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

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While Mauresmo will be at the first Major of the year as the coach of compatriot Lucas Pouille, Federer's bid for a 21st Grand Slam starts today against Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin.

O'Donnell operated on Murray's hip injury last January, and the three-time Grand Slam victor acknowledged and thanked his doctor and staff for looking after him. The Spaniard has started the season in impeccable form having defeated world number one Novak Djokovic on the way to clinching the Qatar Open title. Then there's a resurgent Rafael Nadal, the likes of Cilic and Sasha Zverev.

The doctor who conducted the surgery says playing up until Wimbledon will be hugely challenging for Murray. He said he understood his body and had a great team around him.

"Hitting with Rod Laver for me clearly is an absolute dream come true", Federer said back in 2014.

"I don't think it is impossible, but it will be very hard", Dr. John O'Donnell said on BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek radio programme, adding that the player has exhausted every avenue in an attempt to soothe his troublesome joint.

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Corretja described Murray's style as something of a throwback, saying he may have lacked the explosive power of some of the modern generation but knew how to outwit opponents, agreeing with former U.S. Open champion Andy Roddick that he was unrivalled as a tactician.

"His record is phenomenal and he did it all not only with humility and good grace, but also with a dry sense of humour that marks him out as a true Scot".

"Winning back-to-back Australian Opens like this, in my mid-30s, it's one of my favourite things I will look back on in my career", the two-time defending champion said.

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Spain's 22nd seed Roberto Bautista Agut is the man who could draw the curtain on Murray's time in Melbourne, where he has been a five-time finalist.

'So I don't know.

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

"I talked to him a little bit yesterday actually, ran into him at the hotel". He can play well in fast courts. "Maybe also the way I play tennis, maybe it's smoother than the other guys", said Federer, renowned for his flowing movement around the court. I think to that extent, we are kind of similar. "That's always a good thought".

But Wimbledon title holder Angelique Kerber is a close second. As the practice went on, it was getting worse and I was thinking 'I can't do this. "I can't believe it's already been a year. I don't know if it's ever going to get better than that, because that was it for me".

French Open victor Halep and U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka collected their first major titles past year, and Kerber won at Wimbledon to capture her third in a sequence of eight different women's winners in eight Slams.

Now she's back, seeded 16th, aiming for an eight Australian title.

American fifth seed Sloane Stephens and five-time major victor Maria Sharapova are also in action.

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