In an emotional news conference on Friday, 11 January, a tearful Andy Murray had to leave the room shortly after his first attempt to get it started, and needed to pause several times to compose himself once it had resumed. When he did, he revealed that the Australian Open could be his last tournament before taking a forced retirement.
The 31-year-old Murray said he practised in the off-season with the main goal of making one last run at Wimbledon, where he ended the 77-year drought for British men with his title in 2013 – but now wasn't sure he'd make it that far.
When a reporter asked him if the Australian Open would be the last tournament before drawing the curtains on his career, Murray said, “Yeah, I think there's a chance for that, for sure. There's a chance of that for sure because, like I said, I'm not sure I'm able to play through the pain for another four or five months”.
Transcript of Murray’s Press Conference
“Not feeling good. Obviously been struggling for a long time. I've been in a lot of pain for what has been probably 20 months now. I've pretty much done everything that I could to try to get my hip feeling better, hasn't helped loads. I'm in a better place than I was six months ago but still in a lot of pain, it's been tough.”
“In the middle to end of December during my training block I spoke to my team and I told them that I can't keep doing this I needed to have an end point because I was playing with just no idea of when the pain was going to stop. I felt like making that decision, I said to my team I think I can kind of get through this until Wimbledon because that's where I would like to stop, that's where I would like to stop playing, but I'm also not certain I'm able to do that.”
“I have an option to have another operation which is a little bit more kind of severe than what I've had before – having my hip resurfaced which will allow me to have a better quality of life and be out of pain. That's something that I'm seriously considering right now. Some athletes have had that and have 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 sports, you know it's just for a better quality of life.”
“The pain is kind of the driving factor. I can play with limitations, that's not an issue. It's having the limitations and also the pain is not allowing me to enjoy competing or training or any of the stuff that I love about tennis.”
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