Andy Murray said Friday he plans to retire after Wimbledon because of his right hip injury — if he can keep playing beyond this month’s Australian Open.
In an emotional news conference at Melbourne Park, the 31-year-old former world No. 1 said the pain had become too much to bear and that he had made the decision last month during his training camp.
“I spoke to my team and I told them I can’t keep doing this and that I need to have an end point, because I was just playing with no idea when the pain was going to stop,” said a tearful Murray. “I said, look, I think I can kind of get through this until Wimbledon, that is where I would like to stop. I’m also not certain I’m able to do that.
“I can still play to a level, not a level that I’m happy playing at. But it’s not just that, the pain is too much really. It’s not something I want, I don’t want to continue playing that way. I’ve tried pretty much everything that I could to get it right and that hasn’t worked.”
Murray, who won three Grand Slam titles — Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016 and the 2012 U.S. Open — and two Olympic gold medals, had hip surgery in January 2017.
He returned to the tour last summer but was clearly struggling with his movement. However, it was the pain — and the desire for a better quality of life — that made up his mind.
Murray said he will play the Australian Open, where he has been drawn against No. 22 seed Roberto Bautista Agut on Monday, but he admitted this could even be his last tournament.
“There’s a chance for sure,” he said, “because I’m not sure I’m able to play through the pain for another four or five months. I have an option to have another operation which is a little more severe than I had before, having my hip resurfaced, which will allow me to have a better quality of life and be out of pain. That’s something I’m seriously considering.
“Some athletes have had that and gone back to competing but there’s obviously no guarantee and it is certainly not something, the reason for having an operation like that is not to return to competitive sport, it’s for a better quality of life.”
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SOURCE: ESPN, Simon Cambers