Andy Murray, considered to be one of the best players Britain had ever produced, has stunned the Tennis world by stating that the Australian Open could potentially be his last tournament and that he plans to retire this season. In a tearful and emotional press conference before the start of the 2019 Australian Open, Murray admitted that he was in pain and he wants to continue playing till Wimbledon but is unsure of whether he can go the distance. Murray has been troubled by a hip injury for the last 20 months and 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.
Murray is scheduled to face Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round and although he is scheduled to play, Murray admitted that he may not have that same intensity as the pain is too much and that this could be his last tournament. “I can still play to a level. Not a level that I am happy playing at. I think there’s a chance of that for sure. Because I am not sure I am going to be able to play through the pain for the next four or five months,” Murray admitted.
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.
Andy Murray eliminated 76 years of pain for British Tennis when he won the 2012 US open title, making him the first player from Britain since Fred Perry in 1936 to clinch the title. Murray defeated Novak Djokovic 7-6,7-5,2-6,3-6,6-4 and Britain had finally found a new star. However, it was his victory in 2013 Wimbledon, where he became the first player from Britain to win the title after 77 years, gave him cult status. Djokovic was once again the opponent in the final and Murray won6-4,7-5,6-4. The victory evoked memories of how Andy and his brother Jamie had survived the 1996 Dunblane school massacre in which 16 children were killed by Thomas Hamilton.
Speaking about the incident in Radio Times and carried on The Guardian, Murray’s mother Judy Murray had spoken about how he and his brother survived. “Andy's class had been on their way to the gym. That's how close he was to what happened. They heard the noise and someone went ahead to investigate. They came back and told all the kids to go to the headmaster's study and the deputy head's study,” Judy said.
After winning the 2013 title, Murray clinched Wimbledon again 2016 and he climbed to the No.1 ranking. Murray also became the first British player to win two Olympic gold medals in singles event but his downward spiral began with the hip injury.