British tennis stars queue up to pay tribute to Andy Murray

From Jo Konta's perspective Andy Murray has been the top male player who, above all others, stood up for the women's side of the game.
To Kyle Edmund he has been the down-to-earth teammate who, since the GB No 1 emerged as young prospect, has always gone out of his way to help and promote his development.
On Friday, Britain's tennis players queued up to pay tribute to Murray on the day that two of them - Dan Evans and Harriet Dart - boosted the GB contingent in the Australian Open singles to eight by coming through the qualifying event. 
Konta led the way by pointing out that the whole women's locker room was grateful for the way that Murray, who made the groundbreaking move of employing Amelie Mauresmo as his coach, has been an outspoken proponent of equality in a sport where gender politics are never far beneath the surface.
Murray has described himself as a feminist, and believes that men and women should be paid the same on occasions when they compete at the same tournaments.
'There have been so many examples of when he has stood up for us, not just for women's tennis but women in general,' said the British female No 1. 'He has been blessed with two daughters and he's grown up with a really strong female role model with his Mum as well.
'His wife is also a strong character so he is surrounded by great, strong women. That has come through in the way he has voiced his opinions and the way he has tackled some questions and issues that have arisen and I think everybody has always been very appreciative of him and how he has stood up for the women's side of the game.' 
An underrated side of Murray's character has been the way he has taken an almost pastoral approach to helping lesser British players well below his station.
One example was when Edmund was trying to win his first five set match at the French Open against home player Stephane Robert. Murray fought his way through the crowds to sit in the stands and cheer him on as the contest went into an evening decider.
'For me he's been my biggest role model out of any tennis player,' said Edmund. 
'He's Britain's greatest player ever and maybe Britain's best sportsman ever. To be able to have had the experiences that I've had with him and memories in terms of training with him, and getting to know him personally, he's definitely helped my career.'
Aged 17 Edmund was first invited to train with Murray, and was soon allowed to join one of his brutal off-season training camps in Miami.
'I've spent more hours on the court with him than I have with any other person,' said Edmund. ' He's a very funny guy to be around off the court, there's never a dull moment. You can always a good chat with him about whatever it is.'
Murray's former coach Ivan Lendl, who led him to two major titles, paid tribute to his former charge, saying: 'As Andy looks to wind down over the coming months the world of tennis will lose great competitor, but he will leave a measure of true grit that we all can learn from. 
'Andy always left it all out on the court and I will look back with great feelings about the years we worked together. They were a lot of fun and filled with excitement. I am honoured to have been part of his team and to have been able to help him achieve as many of his lofty goals as possible.'  
Evans, meanwhile, recalled being on Davis Cup duty with Murray who, despite being by far the best and most high profile player on the team always slotted in as one of the lads. 
'He's as down to earth as anyone I know who's a high profile sportsman, he has always been generous to me.' 
On Friday the 28 year-old Midlander continued his climb up the rankings from his cocaine ban by qualifying for the Australian Open main draw when he defeated experienced Italian Paolo Lorenzi 6-3 6-3 in the third preliminary match.
He will play fellow qualifier Tatsuma Ito of Japan and could meet Roger Federer in the second round.
He was joined as the eighth Brit in the singles draw by a less established name, Harriet Dart, the 22 year-old Londoner who is making steady progress towards the top hundred at 132 in the world. She defeated the higher-ranked Serb Ivana Jorovic 1-6 6-3 6-1 and landed a plum tie against former world No 1 Maria Sharapova.
In Auckland Cameron Norrie reached the final of the ASB Classic by beating Jan Lennard Struff 7-5 4-6 6-3 and will meet Tennys Sandgren. 

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