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Andy Murray Announces Upcoming Retirement From Tennis At A 2019 Australian Open Press Conference

Andy Murray of Britain speaks to the media during a press conference ahead of the start of the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia, 11 January 2019. Three-time grand-slam champion Andy Murray is weighing up retiring after the Australian Open, admitting he can no longer play at the top level. EPA-EFE/DANIEL POCKETT EDITORIAL USE ONLY NEW ZEALAND OUT
Andy Murray of Britain speaks to the media during a press conference ahead of the start of the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia, 11 January 2019. Three-time grand-slam champion Andy Murray is weighing up retiring after the Australian Open, admitting he can no longer play at the top level. EPA-EFE/DANIEL POCKETT

 

 

By Ricky Dimon

 

Andy Murray is retiring from tennis; not immediately, but the end is imminent. The former world No. 1 will call it quits at some point in 2019–as soon as the Australian Open or as late as Wimbledon.

 

Murray scheduled an alarming press conference on Friday afternoon at the Australian Open, sparking rampant speculation that the news could not be good. Although the 31-year-old confirmed that he will play this tournament, he also admitted that it could be his last.

 

“There’s a chance of that, for sure,” he said when asked it the Aussie Open could be the end. “Like I said, 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 what I’ve had before and having my hip resurfaced, which would allow me to have a better quality of life and be out of pain. That’s something I’m seriously considering right now. Some athletes have had that and gone back to competing but there’s obviously no guarantees with that…. The reason for having an operation like that is not to return to professional sport. It’s for a better quality of life.”

 

Even the best-case scenario is grim: Murray will play the first half of the season and then retire at Wimbledon, a tournament he has won twice as part of his three Grand Slam titles haul. Despite his relatively young age by current tennis standards (six years younger than Roger Federer, for example), the Scot has been unable to make a full recovery from major hip surgery.

 

“I spoke to my team and I told them I can’t keep doing this and that I need to have and end point, because I was just playing with no idea when the pain was going to stop,” a tearful Murray explained. “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.”

 

After finishing 2016 at No. 1 in the world, Murray missed an entire year from the end of Wimbledon in 2017 to the grass-court swing in 2018. He played only 12 matches last season, going 7-5 record while never looking 100 percent. Murray began this year in Brisbane, where he beat James Duckworth before falling to eventual runner-up Daniil Medvedev in round two.

 

Murray will meet Doha champion Roberto Bautista Agut in round one of the Australian Open on Monday.

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @TennGrand.

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