Andy Murray has announced that he will retire after this year’s Wimbledon, or maybe sooner than that, following a hip injury that has limited him since June 2016.
Murray, 31, who earned a reputation as one of the hardest-working players of his generation, said that his decision to end his playing career in 2019 had come during his off-season training in December 2018.
Murray said in an emotional news conference in Melbourne on Friday:
I spoke to my team, and I told them, ‘I cannot keep doing this.
I needed to have an end point because I was sort of playing with no idea when the pain was going to stop. I felt like making that decision.
I said to my team, ‘Look, I think I can get through this until Wimbledon.’ That’s where I would like to stop playing. But I am also not certain I am able to do that.
Murray became the first British male singles champion at a Grand Slam tournament in 76 years when he won the United States Open in 2012. He won Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016 and won Olympic gold medals in singles in 2012 and 2016. Murray reached the ATP’s No. 1 ranking for the first time at the end of the 2016 season, holding on to it through Wimbledon the next year, according to The New York Times.
The weight of his decision to retire was obvious in his news conference on Friday, when he broke down after he was asked: “How are you feeling, and how is the hip injury?”
“Yeah, not great,” Murray said, his voice shaking. He then sighed and let his emotions flood in, and left the interview room for about three minutes to compose himself..
When he returened he continued, saying:
Yeah, not feeling good/ Obviously, I’ve been struggling for a long time. I have been in a lot of pain. Well, it’s been probably about 20 months now.
I have pretty much done everything that 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 still in a lot of pain. Yeah, it has been tough.
Murray said he still planned to play at the Australian Open against Roberto Bautista Agut.
Murray, who had hip surgery last January and had seen his Melbourne-based surgeon on Thursday, said that although the operation had helped, it had not alleviated his pain, which he said had been the “driving factor” in his decision.
I can still play to a level — not a level that I’m happy playing at.
It’s not just that: The pain is too much, really. I don’t want to continue playing that way. I think I have tried pretty much everything I could to get it right, and that hasn’t worked.
Asked if the Australian Open could be his last tournament, Murray paused and wiped away tears again.
There’s a chance of that, for sure. Yeah, like I said, I am not sure I am able to play through the pain for another four or five months.