Daily Record

Andy’s done enough to retire on his own terms & in the right way

Latest injury a blow to farewell plans


ANDY MURRAY in a race against time to be fit for Wimbledon seems like a familiar story.

But this time, in his planned final season, it has a new poignancy. Because screaming in agony on an outside court at the Miami Open before losing to the world No.60 is no way for one of the sport’s modern greats to say goodbye.

The former world No.1 had admitted earlier this month he’ll “likely not play past this summer” when his last event was set to be Wimbledon or playing doubles at the Paris Olympics.

Late on Monday night UK time he posted on Instagram the news he had ruptured two ankle ligaments and would be out for “an extended period”.

The Scot, who turns 37 in May, will now return to London and see an ankle specialist to get a more detailed diagnosis.

He had been scheduled to play next at the Monte-Carlo Masters on April 7 at the start of the claycourt season before a final French Open.

This is a tough one to take – I’ll be back with one hip and no ankle ligaments when time is right ANDY MURRAY

His best hope now appears a return for the grasscourt season and getting some match practice before the start of Wimbledon on July 1.

Last year Murray played – and won – Challenger events in Nottingham and Surbiton before Queen’s Club. All prediction­s and permutatio­ns are up in the air for now.

What is certain is this knight of the realm, a three-time Grand Slam champion and double Olympic gold medallist, deserves to go out on his own terms and in the right way.

The timing of retirement for top stars is difficult and the longer you leave it, the less control you have. Pete Sampras didn’t play again after his then record 14th Slam title at the 2002 US Open aged 31. Roger Federer lost his final set 6-0 to Hubert Hurkacz in the 2020 Wimbledon quarter-finals aged 39 and his knees stopped him playing competitiv­ely again.

The All England Club, where Murray became the first British male singles winner since Fred Perry, would’ve been the logical place to play his final match. But the Paris Olympics are later in July and an au revoir in the doubles was also a possibilit­y.

Murray is famously indecisive. He pulled out of Wimbledon in 2007 late on Sunday with a wrist injury and withdrew late in 2018 because he didn’t feel ready.

In 2019, he played the men’s and mixed doubles at Wimbledon and no singles. He has made miracle recoveries before and returned to win on the ATP Tour in October 2019 after his January hip surgery.

But as you get older, recovery takes longer. And after winning only five matches in his first eight tournament­s this year, the world No.62 faces a battle with his body and motivation to return again.

Yet his stubbornne­ss, bloody mindedness and will to win are considerab­le. Before the Australian Open in January, he said: “One of the reasons why I’ve been able to get back to the level I’ve got to is because my brain works probably differentl­y to most people.”

If not this summer, Murray could take a final Wimbledon wildcard in 2025 on the 20th anniversar­y of his first appearance as a wobbly teenager.

A proper farewell. Not like this. The Scot posted on Instagram, “this is a tough one to take”, adding “I’ll be back with one hip and no ankle ligaments when the time is right.”

 ?? ?? GOLD STANDARD Murray at Rio in 2016
GOLD STANDARD Murray at Rio in 2016
 ?? ?? agoNy Murray screams in pain after rupturing ankle ligaments in Miami on Sunday
agoNy Murray screams in pain after rupturing ankle ligaments in Miami on Sunday

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