Andy Murray’s journey in the Australian Open ended in the first round as he lost a titanic five-set battle to Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 in a titanic encounter. This was the last time the Scot will play at the Australian Open, having announced that he might retire from competitive tennis after Wimbledon as he struggles to battle with a chronic hip injury. Just before the Australian Open, Murray had stunned the world with the announcement that the pain on his hip was too much to bear and he would have to undergo surgery in order to lead a better life. Murray was unsure of whether he can go the distance after being troubled by a hip injury for the last 20 months but said he was ‘not feeling great’ before the start of the tournament.
“In the middle to end of December, during the training block, I spoke to my team, and I said ‘I can’t keep doing this and I need to have an end point.’ It was just playing with no idea of when the pain was going to stop. I said to my team ‘Maybe I can get through this until Wimbledon’ – that was where I would like to stop playing. But I am also not certain I am able to do that,” Murray broke down when saying those words.
The Scotsman, who won Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016 and also the US Open in 2012, has stated that he thought about the possibility of undergoing a hip resurfacing operation. He added that this was a serious consideration not because he wanted to play professional sport but because he could have a better quality of life. Murray admitted that returning back from such an operation is not a guarantee that he can come back stronger in the high demands of professional tennis.
If Murray decides to retire at Wimbledon, then the tournament organisers are planning an extraordinary tribute to the Scottish player who ended 77 years of pain for Britain by winning Wimbledon. “We always felt that when Andy retired, that would be the appropriate time to recognise his extraordinary career. I am sure something like (a statue) will be done, but meanwhile down at the club he is seen as a highly-respected person both on and off the court,” Richard Lewis, chief executive of the All England Club, said.