Shat­tered Mur­ray nears the end

TENNIS

Kalgoorlie Miner - - SPORT -

A shat­tered Andy Mur­ray is des­per­ately hop­ing for a Wim­ble­don swan song but con­cedes the Aus­tralian Open may be his last tour­na­ment, with a chronic hip in­jury forc­ing him to con­front re­tire­ment.

Mur­ray was in tears yes­ter­day when he made the an­nounce­ment, briefly walk­ing out of a me­dia con­fer­ence to gather his com­po­sure.

Bri­tain’s only men’s sin­gles cham­pion in more than 80 years in­tends to play in the sea­sonopen­ing ma­jor at Mel­bourne Park and hopes to bid farewell to his le­gion of fans at the All Eng­land Club in July.

But after slip­ping to No.230 after last year’s hip surgery, the for­mer world No.1 said there was a chance he wouldn’t make it be­yond the Open start­ing on Mon­day.

“I’m not feel­ing good. I’ve ob­vi­ously been strug­gling for a long time,” the 31-year-old said.

“I’ve been in a lot of pain for prob­a­bly about 20 months now.

“I can still play to a level, (al­though) not a level that I’m happy play­ing at. But it’s not just that, the pain is too much re­ally.

“I don’t want to con­tinue play­ing that way. I’ve tried pretty much ev­ery­thing to get it right and that hasn’t worked.”

Mur­ray’s tri­umphs at the 2012 US Open and Wim­ble­don in 2013 and 2016 en­sured he was no longer the brides­maid of men’s tennis, ce­ment­ing his sta­tus as a mem­ber of the Big Four.

“I said to my team ‘I think I can get through this un­til Wim­ble­don’ . . . that’s where I would like to stop play­ing. But I’m also not cer­tain I’m able to do that,” he said.

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