In a shocking and emotional press conference on Friday, Andy Murray announced that he plans to retire after Wimbledon this year at the latest.
“I spoke to my team and I told them I can’t keep doing this and that I need to have an end point, because I was just playing with no idea when the pain was going to stop,” said a tearful Murray, who has been dealing with a hip injury dating back to early last year. “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.”
While the goal is for him to compete at Wimbledon, he indicated that the upcoming Australian Open may very well be his final tournament.
“There’s a chance for sure because I’m not sure I’m able to play through the pain for another four or five months,” said Murray. “I have an option to have another operation, which is a little more severe than I 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 I’m seriously considering.
Some athletes have had that and gone back to competing, but there’s obviously no guarantee and it is certainly not something, the reason for having an operation like that is not to return to competitive sport, it’s for a better quality of life.”
Almost immediately, messages and thoughts of support came pouring in from both men’s and women’s tennis players, other professional athletes, celebrities and fans.
In his career, Murray was considered one of the “Big Four”, along with Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, and captured three Grand Slam titles, including the 2012 U.S. Open.