A devastated Andy Murray has broken down in tears at Melbourne Park, admitting the Australian Open may be his final tournament after “struggling for a long time” with injuries.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday morning ahead of the Australian Open on Monday, the three-time grand slam champion said he wasn’t sure he could play “through the pain” for another five months.
“Pretty much done everything that I could to try and get my hip feeling better and it hasn’t helped loads…I think there is a chance [the Australian Open] is my last tournament,” the Scotsman told reporters.
“I’m not feeling good. I’ve obviously been struggling for a long time … I’m not sure I can play through the pain for another four or five months.”
He briefly walked out of the room to gather his composure before saying he intends to play in the season-opening major at Melbourne Park.
But, Murray revealed there was a chance it will be his final tournament.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 11, 2019
“I spoke to my team and I told that I can’t keep doing this, that I needed to have an end point because (I was) just playing with no idea when the pain was going to stop,” he said.
“I said to my team ‘I think I can get through to Wimbledon’ … that’s where I would like to stop playing. But I’m also not certain I’m able to do that.”
Murray won the US Open in 2012 and Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016 to join Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the ‘big four’ of men’s tennis.
The five-time finalist at Melbourne Park, Murray said he had reflected on his future during a training block at the end of last year.
Tennis greats have already chimed in on the retirement bombshell three days before the Open gets underway.
Andy Roddick posted on Twitter: “If this is true, I tip my cap to [Andy Murray]. Absolute legend. Short list of best tacticians in history. Unreal results in a brutal era”.
“Nothing but respect here. I hope he can finish strong and healthy,” he wrote.
Coach and former player Darren Cahill described Murray’s “remarkable discipline” in his entire approach to playing tennis and winning tournaments.
When you search for examples of “emptied the bucket to be as good as they could be” there should be a picture of Andy Murray sitting under that quote. Remarkable discipline for training, competition, sacrifice, perfection, a little crazy 😃 but a legend of a bloke. Bravo Andy 👏
— Darren Cahill (@darren_cahill) January 11, 2019
What a champion! All class @andy_murray 👏🏻
— Sam Groth (@SamGrothTennis) January 11, 2019
Murray’s career in numbers
1 – Murray became the first British singles player to be ranked world No.1 (November 7, 2016)
41– The number of weeks the Scot spent on top of the rankings
3 – Grand-slam titles
11 – Grand-slam finals
45 – Career singles titles
2 – Doubles titles, both with brother Jamie
9 – Singles titles in 2016, including five in a row to end the season as world No.1
2 – Olympic singles gold medals
11 – Murray won all 11 rubbers he contested to drive Great Britain to Davis Cup glory in 2015, an unprecedented feat
663 – Tour-level matches won
$US61,055,135 ($A85 million) – Career prize money
3 – Only person to be named BBC Sports Personality of the Year three times
5573 – Aces served
29 – Combined wins against Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.