Judy Murray shares unique tribute to '˜warrior king' Andy Murray

He's one of the greatest sports stars Scotland has ever produced, a fact reflected in the tributes paid from around the world since he announced his impending retirement.

Monday, 14th January 2019, 3:37 pm
Updated Monday, 14th January 2019, 3:48 pm
Andy Murray as heroic English king Henry V, an artwork by Nial Smith based on an original painting by Kinuko Y. Craft

Now Andy Murray has achieved an online testimonial of a more unusual kind - courtesy of a graphic designer from Edinburgh.

The tennis star has been re-imagined as English king Henry V, the medieval warrior immortalised in the Shakespeare play of the same name, in an artwork by Nial Smith.

Murray - clad in the garb of an English knight - is shown standing ready for battle above the well-known Shakespeare quote: “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more”.

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The striking picture - based on an original artwork by American artist Kinuko Y. Craft - was shared by Judy Murray after her son lost a remarkable five-set encounter against Roberto Bautista Agut in what could be his last professional match at the Australian Open.

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“I would normally put Andy in a Scottish setting but on this occasion it had to be Henry V,” explained artist Nial Smith, who is based on Leith Walk. “It’s meant as a positive image. Andy is ready for battle but he is also looking to the future.

“That quote, ‘Once more unto the breach...’ is the classic battle cry. I added the Lion Rampant for some Scottish balance.

Britain's Andy Murray hits a forehand return during a practice session ahead of the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

“I’ve done previous pictures of Andy as a gladiator - tennis is a very gladiatorial sport.”

Murray tearfully announced on Friday that he is planning to retire this year, and maybe as soon as after this tournament, the 31-year-old threatened a miracle but was ultimately beaten 6-4 6-4 6-7 (5) 6-7 (4) 6-2 by the Spanish 22nd seed.

Murray’s hopes were not high given the state of his right hip but this was a remarkable performance for a man who admits he struggles to put his shoes and socks on.

But Nial, who has closely followed Andy’s career, believes we may not have seen the last of him on court.

“I had thought he would go on to win today’s game,” he added. “But you can never count him out. You never know what Andy will do next.”