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  Debate

Debate

Did Roger Federer disrespect Andy Murray by missing his farewell, or was it justifiable?

Tennis is shifting to a new era! Long dominated by the iconic “Big Four,” the sport is now transforming as another legend, Andy Murray prepares to hang up his racquets. The echoes of his final match at the prestigious Wimbledon resonate deeply, marking the end of an era that many fans believed would endure indefinitely. Amidst this significant change, the tennis world remains as unpredictable and controversy-laden as ever.

There was not a single dry eye on the Centre Court on Thursday as Andy Murray bid adieu to the grasscourt Grand Slam, conceding a defeat alongside his brother Jamie Murray in the men’s doubles category. The duo lost to their Australian counterparts John Peers and Rinky Hijikata, 7-6(8), 6-4. More than the emotional tribute to the British tennis legend, what caught fans’ attention was the absence of the Swiss Maestro, Roger Federer.

Federer was at the All-England Club on Thursday and was expected to watch Murray play his last match. However, the Swiss Maestro was not only absent during the match but also during the farewell ceremony. While some viewed this as a gesture to avoid overshadowing Murray, many did not appreciate the move. Amid the controversy, Federer himself explained his absence in an interview with ESPN.

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Speaking to ESPN, Federer revealed the reason for his absence. “I wish I could’ve been there last night but I already had obligations because I didn’t know how it was gonna all play out.” Continuing further, Federer disclosed that he was scheduled to watch Murray play in the singles category, but the Brit decided to withdraw. “As I boarded the flight, I learned Andy wasn’t playing singles. I was like ‘Oh my God.’ I was on standby.

Poll of the day

Do you think Roger Federer should have attended Andy Murray's emotional farewell?

Absolutely

No, he had valid reasons

Not sure

Doesn't matter

For the unversed, Murray recently underwent a surgical procedure to remove a spinal cyst. This was the primary reason behind him pulling out of the singles category in Wimbledon. However, the tennis great did not fail to meet Murray before his match.

Talking further in the interview, Federer said, “I quickly went to see him before the match. I could see Andy was extremely nervous and caring for that very moment.” This was even confirmed by the tournament director Jamie Baker. When asked if Federer’s absence was to avoid stealing the spotlight from Murray, Baker said, “Yeah, he went and saw Andy before the match. They had a good chat.” Meanwhile, Federer is planning to see one of his fiercest rivals playing again soon.

Continuing about Andy’s mixed doubles campaign with Emma Raducanu at Wimbledon and his upcoming appearance at the Summer Olympics, Federer remarked, “I hope I get to see Andy. What an incredible career…Of course, I was emotional as well yesterday.” However, it remains unclear if Federer will attend Murray’s mixed doubles match as the tournament director Baker said, “I don’t know, I’m not sure how long Roger is staying for.

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Meanwhile, for Murray, it was not just Federer’s locker room presence that came as a surprise. 

I saw on one of the TVs that…” – Murray’s admission about unexpected guests at Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic, John McEnroe, and Martina Navratilova were among the prominent figures who graced Centre Court after the match. However, even for the British tennis legend, there were two unexpected guests.

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During the post-match conference, Murray disclosed that he was pleasantly surprised by the presence of his daughters, Sophia and Edie, at the match. “When we were waiting in the locker room beforehand, I saw on one of the TVs that they were there sitting next to my wife. It was nice,” Murray said. “They’ve only been to one other match that I played and sat in the stands before, in Nottingham last year. I didn’t even know. I didn’t know they were there. It was nice they managed to make it.

With Murray gearing up for his mixed doubles match on Saturday, the question looms whether he can surpass his achievements in the men’s doubles. What remains certain is the grand farewell that the tennis world will bid to this legendary player.