A tearful Andy Murray opened in front of the Worlds press at a news conference in Melbourne Australia and admitted he may have to bring forward his plans to retire, with next week’s Australian open realistically being his final tournament.
The three time grand slam winner was open and honest about his current injury situation and told reporters how his plan was to make it to one last Wimbledon and bow out on home soil, however he admitted that may not be an option saying;
“I'm not sure I'm able to play through the pain for another four or five months, I want to get to Wimbledon and stop but I'm not certain I can do that.”
Despite the pain, Murray still showed every intention of playing Spanish 22nd seed Roberto Bautista in next week’s first round match of the Australian Open.
After a brief pause while the 31 year old Scot left the rom to compose himself, he returned to give the Worlds press an idea of just what he has been through over the past 18 months, since walking out of Wimbledon in 2017. He started by saying;
“I'm not feeling good, I've been struggling for a long time. I've been in a lot of pain for about 20 months now. I've pretty much done everything I could to try and get my hip feeling better and it hasn't helped loads.
“I'm in a better place than I was six months ago but I'm still in a lot of pain. I can still play to a level, but not a level I have played at.”
He later went on to speak to BBC Sport and told them how a second surgery to have a hip replacement is an option, but not one he would take with a view to playing on, he told them the main reason to have surgery that series was to add to your quality of life. He then added;
“Athletes have had operations like that done and come back to play – but certainly not in tennis and in singles. If I do that, I'm not sure I will be competing again.”
Perhaps the realisation of his defeat to World Number one Novak Djokovic in his recent practice match was the final straw and he knows he can’t compete at that level any more. One thing for sure should the double Olympic winner end his career next week, or the week after or in July on home soil he will be remembered as one of Britain’s best ever tennis champions.