Andy Murray’s heartbreaking pre-Australian Open press conference has sent shockwaves around the tennis world, with the former world No. 1 confirming plans to retire from the sport in 2019.
The three-time Grand Slam champion has long been struggling with a hip injury and confessed he felt pain when putting his socks and shoes on even to this day.
British tennis fans will now watch on nervously as Murray takes on Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round at Melbourne Park, with the Scot admitting it may be his final match in the sport, although he hopes to bow out at Wimbledon later this year.
‘I’m going to play. I can still play to a level, not a level I’m happy playing at,’ he said. ‘The pain is too much really, it’s not something I want to continue playing that way.
‘I tried everything I could to get it right, it hasn’t worked. My plan is kind of middle to end of December in my training block, I spoke to my team and told them I can’t keep doing it.
‘I need to have an end point because I’m just playing with no idea of when the pain will stop. Making that decision, I think I can get through to this at Wimbledon, that’s when I’d like to stop playing. I’m also not certain I’m able to do that.’
Asked whether the Australian Open would be his final tournament, he responded: ‘There’s a chance of that, yeah, for sure. I’m not sure I’m able to play through the pain for another four or five months.’
It’s a tragic end to what has been a glittering career and many flocked to send the 31-year-old their best wishes ahead of his imminent retirement.
Former Grand Slam winner Andy Roddick was one of the first to congratulate Murray on a stellar career, hailing him as one of the ‘best tacticians in history’.