/Murray announces plans to retire from tennis

Murray announces plans to retire from tennis

Andy Murray said Friday he plans to retire and is targeting this year’s Wimbledon as the final tournament of his career — if he can keep playing that long.

“Obviously I’ve been struggling for a long time. I’ve been in a lot of pain for about 20 months now,” Murray said at Melbourne Park ahead of the Australian Open. “I’ve 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. It’s been tough.”

Murray battled to contain his emotions at a news conference Friday morning, and had to leave the room briefly to compose himself soon after it started.

The 31-year-old confirmed he would play at the Australian Open, where he has been drawn against No. 22 seed Roberto Bautista Agut, and there is a possibility this could mark his swan song.

Asked whether this month’s tournament could be his last, Murray said: “Yes, I think there’s a chance of that for sure, because 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 bit more severe than what I’ve had before in 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 right now. Some athletes have had that and gone back to competing, but there’s obviously no guarantees with that, and the reason for having an operation like that is not to return to professional sport, it’s just for a better quality of life.”

After returning from a long-term hip injury, Murray is ranked No. 230 in the world. He apologized to a fan after winning just two games against No. 1 Novak Djokovic during a practice match Thursday.

“During my training block I spoke to my team and told them I can’t 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,” Murray said Friday. “I said to my team, ‘Look, I think I can get through this until Wimbledon.’ That’s where I’d like to stop playing. But I’m also not certain I’m able to do that.”

Murray, who will turn 32 before this summer’s Wimbledon, won the event in 2013 and 2016. His only other major title came at the 2012 US Open.

He also claimed the Olympics gold medal for Great Britain when the event was played at London’s All England Club in 2012, and again four years later in Rio de Janeiro.

Murray became the first singles player from the United Kingdom to be world No. 1 when he topped the rankings Nov. 7, 2016. The Scot was given a knighthood the following month.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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