SOME of the biggest names in tennis have paid tribute to a Wirral sportswriter who died covering the Australian Open.

Mike Dickson, the Daily Mail’s long-serving tennis correspondent, died in Melbourne at the age of 59, his family confirmed. 

On behalf of his family, Dickson’s wife Lucy posted a message on X that read: “We are devastated to announce that our wonderful husband and Dad, Mike, has collapsed and died while in Melbourne for the Aus Open.

“For 38 years he lived his dream covering sport all over the world. He was a truly great man and we will miss him terribly. Lucy, Sam, Ruby and Joe.”

Rafael Nadal, who has won 22 grand slams, said on social media: “Very sorry to hear about the passing of Mike who has been following tennis all these years. My thoughts to his family and to our tennis family for the loss. Rest in peace.”

Dickson grew up in Wirral and worked for local media outlets before moving to the Mail, initially as a cricket correspondent, before switching to tennis in 2007.

Speaking on Eurosport, British tennis icon, Tim Henman, said: “Incredibly sad that he passed away in Melbourne. He was a great friend of the tennis community and our thoughts go out to his family.”

Dickson had written a book about Emma Raducanu's US open win in 2021and the star also paid tribute following her second round defeat to Yafan Wang.

She said:  “Yeah, first of all, I would say condolences to Mike. I heard the news this morning. Was pretty taken aback to be honest because he was here two nights ago, and everything was normal.

“Yeah, just shows how precious life is and puts everything into perspective. I know I came off a three-set loss, but in comparison to what just happened, I was taken aback. Yeah, condolences. I know it's a very sad day for everyone and his family. I really hope you can stay as strong as you can.”

Novak Djokovic also posted a message of condolence on X, as did former player Laura Robson, who said: “Truly devastating news. Can’t believe it. All my thoughts with Mike’s family.”

Dickson was a Tranmere Rovers supporter and the Wirral club posted: “The thoughts of everyone at Tranmere Rovers Football Club are with Mike’s wife and family at this extremely sad time. RIP Mike.”

The Cricket Writers’ Club said in a statement: “We are deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Mike Dickson while in Australia covering the tennis for the Mail. He was 59. Dicko was a brilliant journalist, on cricket, tennis and much more besides, and a great man who will be dearly missed by so many.”