Novak Djokovic spotted in brilliant act as Aussies spoil Andy Murray's farewell at Wimbledon

The Scottish tennis champion was reduced to tears in emotional scenes at the All England Club.

Novak Djokovic was on hand to celebrate Andy Murray's career on Thursday as the Scottish tennis star made an emotional farewell to Wimbledon. Playing in his final grand slam tournament, Murray and brother Jamie went down to Australian duo John Peers and Rinky Hijikata in the first round of the men's doubles.

A two-time singles champion at Wimbledon, Andy and brother Jamie went down 7-6 (8-6) 6-4, before the elder Murray received a standing ovation and was celebrated in a post-match ceremony. "It's hard because I would love to keep playing but I can't," Murray said as he wiped away tears.

Novak Djokovic, pictured here at Wimbledon paying tribute to Andy Murray.
Novak Djokovic was on hand to celebrate as Wimbledon paid tribute to Andy Murray. Image: Getty/Wimbledon

"Physically it is too tough now, all of the injuries, they have added up and they haven't been insignificant. I want to play forever, I love the sport and it's given me so much. It's taught me loads of lessons over the years I can use for the rest of my life. I don't want to stop so it is hard.

"It was obviously really special to play with Jamie. We never got the chance to do it before (at Wimbledon). It was a bit of a race to get out here. Physically, it wasn't easy but I am glad we did it."

Andy Murray, pictured here in tears after losing in the doubles at Wimbledon.
Andy Murray was in tears after losing in the doubles at Wimbledon. (Photo by Jordan Pettitt/PA Images via Getty Images)

Djokovic was among a number of past and current players who made their way onto centre court to celebrate Murray's career. Aussie champion Lleyton Hewitt was also there, while Murray shared a warm embrace with long-time rival Djokovic as he made his way off.

Andy Murray, pictured here sharing a warm embrace with Novak Djokovic.
Andy Murray shared a warm embrace with Novak Djokovic. (Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)
Andy Murray's wife Kim, pictured here at Wimbledon.
Andy Murray's wife Kim was also in attendance. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

"He’s one of the three guys other than Roger (Federer) and Rafa (Nadal) that have impacted my career," Djokovic earlier said about Murray after advancing to the third round. "We go a very long way back. We were never too close on the tour because it’s difficult as rivals. But we always had tremendous respect for each other.

"I think we only have a one-week difference in age. So our trajectory on the professional tour is pretty similar. Not much was separating our careers. We played some incredible matches all over the world.

"But he’s definitely one of the three guys other than Roger and Rafa who has impacted my career and my growth as a tennis player. If this is his last match, it’s sad that he’s not able to finish on his own terms in singles. He’s an incredible competitor. Resilience that you can definitely study and teach young athletes.”

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Tears flowed as Federer and Nadal were among a number of stars to send video tributes to Murray. "You were never alone," said eight-time Wimbledon champion Federer. "While you carried your own dreams, you also carried theirs." Nadal said "We were proud to play against you", while Serena Williams added: "Your golden days belonged to everybody."

As for the Aussies who spoiled the Murray party, Peers and Hijikata were also full of praise. "It is very special for us to come out here and play today. It is nice to get through but I think everyone here just wants to come and support Andy," Hijikata told the cheering crowd.

"It was all about Andy and the great champion he is. It was an absolute honour to step on the court with him before he finishes playing."

Rinky Hijikata and John Peers congratulate Andy Murray and brother Jamie at Wimbledon.
Rinky Hijikata and John Peers proved too good for Andy Murray and brother Jamie. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Peers, who previously played doubles with Jamie Murray, echoed those sentiments. "It is an absolute honour to be out here with Andy. Our words don't do it justice how good he is," he said.

Despite the farewell on Thursday, Murray will play at least one more match at Wimbledon. He's also in the mixed doubles draw with Emma Raducanu.

with agencies