- Andy Murray says he may retire after the Australian Open.
- He has been struggling with ongoing hip pain.
- “I spoke to my team and I told them that I can’t keep doing this,” he said.
- Murray is due to face off against Roberto Bautista Agut (22) of Spain on Monday.
Tennis champion Andy Murray has announced the Australian Open 2019 may be the last tournament of his career.
At a press conference in Melbourne on Friday afternoon, local time, Murray fought back emotion to make the announcement.
In response to a question about how he was feeling, the former World No. 1 was only able to say “not great” before leaving the press room to compose himself.
Murray returned to say: “Sorry, so, not feeling good.”
He continued: “Obviously I’ve been struggling for a long time. I’ve been in a lot of pain for it’s been about 20 months now. I’ve pretty much done everything I could to try and get my hip feeling better and it hasn’t helped loads. I’m in a better place than I was six months ago but I’m still in a lot of pain. It’s been tough.”
When asked whether he would play in the Australian Open, which kicks off at Rod Laver Arena on Monday, Murray confirmed he would but is uncertain about his career beyond the Australian Grand Slam.
“I’m going to play,” he said.
“I can still play a level, not a level I’m happy playing at.
“It’s not just that, the pain is too much really, and it’s not something that I want to continue playing that way.”
He revealed that during his most recent training block in December, he discussed with his team about retiring after Wimbledon in July. However, he now thinks that his pain is too severe to meet that timeline.
“I spoke to my team and I told them that I can’t keep doing this,” he said. “I needed to have an end point”.
“I said to my team I can get through this until Wimbledon, that’s where I would like to stop playing. But I’m also not certain that I’m able to do that.”
He then broke down in tears.
When asked whether he thinks the Australia Open will be his last tournament, he replied: “Yeah, I think there’s a chance of that for sure… because I’m not sure I’m able to play through the pain for another four or five months.”
Murray also revealed he is “seriously considering” hip resurfacing surgery which will allow him to “have a better quality of life and be out of pain”.
“Some athletes have had that and then gone back to competing, but there’s obviously there no guarantee with that. And the reason for having that operation is not to return to professional sport but to have a better quality of life.”
Murray said he has been struggling with the simplest of things, let alone playing tennis.
“There’s lots of little things… like day-to-day that are also a struggle,” he said. “It would be nice to be able to do them without any struggle — putting shoes on, socks on, things like that.”
And that he has lost the joy tennis brings him.
“You can’t do what you want to do, and you love doing,” he said. “I can do it but it’s not fun, it’s not enjoyable doing it any more.
“I have just tried to deal with it, talked about it, but none of that makes my hip feel better unfortunately.”
Murray, who has won 45 singles titles, including three Grand Slam titles, had surgery on his right hip last January.
He is due to play his Australian Open first-round match against Roberto Bautista Agut (22) of Spain on Monday.
Watch the press conference in full here:
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