Andy Murray to retire this season
Tennis

Andy Murray to retire this season

11 January 2019 / 08:28

Andy Murray fought back the tears as he admitted next week's Australian Open could be his last tournament.

The 31-year-old - a double Olympic and Wimbledon champion - has struggled with a hip injury for several years.

After surgery, he only played 12 matches in 2018 and pulled out of the warm-up tournament for the first slam of the season.

After admitting the problems, he broke down in tears, before returning a few minutes later to admit his career would end this season.

He said: “In December, I spoke to my team and told them: ‘I cannot keep doing this’. I was playing with no idea when the pain was going to stop. I felt like making that decision.

“I said to my team: ‘Look, I think I can get through this until Wimbledon.’ That’s where I would like to stop playing but I am not certain I am able to do that.”

Murray is a five-time runner-up at the Australian Open and admitted there is chance his first-round match with Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut could be his last.

He added: “There’s a chance of that, for sure. I am not sure I am able to play through the pain for another four or five months. I have an option to have another operation, which is a little bit more severe than what I have had before.

“It would allow me to have a better quality of life and be out of pain, and that is something I’m seriously considering right now.

“Some athletes have had that and gone back to competing but there are obviously no guarantees with that and the reason for having an operation would not be to return to professional sport. It’s just for a better quality of life.”

The sign of Murray struggling with injury has been difficult to watch for his legion of admirers.

Always one of the fittest players on the tour, recent months have seemed a long way from the peak of his career in 2015 and 2016.

Then – in just a few short months – he helped Great Britain win the Davis Cup for the first time since 1936, regained his Wimbledon title, and became the first man to defend an Olympic men’s singles title in Rio, beating Juan Martin Del Potro in an epic final.

“I’ve been struggling for a long time and I have been in a lot of pain for probably about 20 months now,” he added.

“I have pretty much done everything that I could to try and get my hip feeling better but It hasn’t helped loads.

“I’m in a better place than I was six months ago but still in a lot of pain and It’s been tough.

“There are little things, day to day, that are also a struggle. It would be nice to be able to do them without any pain: putting shoes and socks on, things like that. That’s the main reason for doing it.

“The pain is too much, really. I don’t want to continue playing that way.

“I think I have tried pretty much everything I could to get it right and that hasn’t worked.”

Sportsbeat 2019