Mur­ray an­nounces plans to re­tire this year

The Mercury News Weekend - - SPORTS - Staff writer El­liott Al­mond con­trib­uted to this re­port.

Andy Mur­ray is still hop­ing to make it to one more Wim­ble­don tour­na­ment be­fore his prob­lem­atic hip forces him into re­tire­ment. For now, he’s only com­mit­ting to the Aus­tralian Open in Mel­bourne.

In an emo­tional news con­fer­ence Fri­day (Aus­tralia time), when a tear­ful 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, he con­firmed he’d play his first-round match at the Aus­tralian Open on Sun­day but wasn’t sure how much longer he could con­tinue be­yond that.

The 31-year- old Mur­ray said he trained in the off­sea­son 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 after do­ing ev­ery­thing he could to deal with the pain over the last 20 months.

“I can still play to a level, not a level I’m happy play­ing at,” he said. “But also, it’s not just that. The pain is too much re­ally.

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

The three- time Grand Slam cham­pion is sched­uled to open against No. 22-ranked Roberto Bautista Agut at Mel­bourne Park, where the sea­sonopen­ing ma­jor be­gins Sun­day.

He has reached the fi­nal five times at the Aus­tralian Open but never won the ti­tle. Get­ting through the first round will be a ma­jor achieve­ment in 2019 for the for­mer No. 1-ranked Mur­ray, who has slumped to No. 230 after play­ing just 12 matches last year fol­low­ing surgery on his right hip in Jan­uary. DJOKOVIC, FED­ERER ON OP­PO­SITE SIDES OF AUSSIE DRAW » Roger Fed­erer and No­vak Djokovic are each aim­ing for a record sev­enth men’s Aus­tralian Open ti­tle, and the draw has en­sured they can’t play each other at Mel­bourne Park un­til the fi­nal.

Ser­ena Wil­liams al­ready has seven Aussie ti­tles, and is a strong con­tender to add an­other after skip­ping her ti­tle de­fense in 2018 while she was on leave after hav­ing a baby.

Now seeded 16th, Wil­liams was drawn into the same sec­tion as No. 1-ranked Si­mona Halep, the run­ner-up here last year. The pair could meet in the fourth round.

Soc­cer

STAN­FORD’S DAVID­SON IS TOP PICK IN WOMEN’S LEAGUE » For­mer Stan­ford de­fender Tierna David­son is the first over­all pick in the Na­tional Women’s Soc­cer League draft by the Chicago Red Stars. Stan­ford had two other top-10 se­lec­tions — the Wash­ing­ton Spirit took at­tack­ing mid­fielder Jor­dan DiBi­asi third and de­fender Te­gan McGrady (Santa Teresa- San Jose High) sev­enth.

David­son, a for­mer Sa­cred Heart Prep- Ather­ton star, left Stan­ford a year early to turn pro. She hopes the NWSL com­pe­ti­tion helps her earn a place with the top-ranked U. S. team try­ing to de­fend its ti­tle at the Women’s World Cup in France this sum­mer. Other lo­cal NWSL picks: The Red Stars took Santa Clara for­ward Maria Sanchez at No. 15, and New York Sky Blue picked for­mer Stan­ford for­ward Kyra Carusa at 19. Carusa was a grad­u­ate trans­fer who led Ge­orge­town to the Col­lege Cup in De­cem­ber. DNA SAM­PLE SOUGHT IN RON­ALDO RAPE AL­LE­GA­TION » Soc­cer star Cris­tiano Ron­aldo is be­ing asked by po­lice in the U.S. to pro­vide a DNA sam­ple in an on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion of a Nevada woman’s al­le­ga­tion that he raped her in his Las Ve­gas ho­tel pent­house in 2009, the soc­cer star’s lawyer in Las Ve­gas said. At­tor­ney Peter S. Chris­tiansen down­played the de­vel­op­ment, de­nied the rape al­le­ga­tion and pro­vided no ad­di­tional de­tails.

“Mr. Ron­aldo has al­ways main­tained, as he does to­day, that what oc­curred in Las Ve­gas in 2009 was con­sen­sual in na­ture, so it is not sur­pris­ing that DNA would be present, nor that the po­lice would make this very stan­dard re­quest as part of their in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” Chris­tiansen said.

Base­ball

DOZIER FILLS HOLE AT SEC­OND FOR NA­TION­ALS » Brian Dozier found his lat­est team — and the Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als found a tem­po­rary so­lu­tion at sec­ond base. The free-agent in­fielder and the Na­tion­als agreed to a $9 mil­lion, one-year con­tract, sub­ject to the suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion of a phys­i­cal exam, a per­son fa­mil­iar with the ne­go­ti­a­tions told The As­so­ci­ated Press.

Dozier bat­ted a ca­reer­low .215 with 21 homers and 72 RBIs last year. PLAY BALL AT OR­A­CLE PARK » The Gi­ants and Red­wood Shores-based Or­a­cle Corp. of­fi­cially an­nounced a 20year nam­ing rights deal, im­me­di­ately trans­form­ing AT&T Park into Or­a­cle Park. The re­ported $300$350 mil­lion deal ap­pears to be one of the rich­est of its kind in North Amer­i­can pro­fes­sional sports.

NBA

LEBRON TO MISS MORE TIME » The Lak­ers say LeBron James likely will miss at least three more games after be­ing cleared to in­crease his on- court ac­tiv­ity in his come­back from a groin in­jury. James was eval­u­ated by the Lak­ers’ med­i­cal staff Thurs­day.

The Lak­ers say James’ heal­ing is “pro­gress­ing,” and he will par­tic­i­pate in more func­tional bas­ket­ball ac­tiv­i­ties. CAVA­LIERS LOSE NANCE JR. TO KNEE IN­JURY » Cleve­land Cava­liers for­ward Larry Nance Jr. could miss a month with a sprained right knee lig­a­ment, an­other blow to the NBA’s worst team which has lost 11 in a row. Nance got hurt in the first quar­ter of Tues­day night’s loss to In­di­ana and didn’t re­turn. The team said an MRI taken Thurs­day con­firmed that he sprained his me­dial col­lat­eral lig­a­ment, and that he will be out for a min­i­mum of two weeks.

Women’s col­lege bas­ket­ball

STAN­FORD’S TUCKER UP FOR HALL OF FAME » Amy Tucker is one of 12 fi­nal­ists un­der con­sid­er­a­tion for in­duc­tion into the Women’s Bas­ket­ball Hall of Fame. The group was an­nounced at half­time dur­ing Thurs­day night’s Louisville at Notre Dame game, and the Class of 2019 will be un­veiled dur­ing the Bay­lor-Texas game on Feb. 4 .

Tucker is in her 34th sea­son at Stan­ford and sec­ond as a pro­gram ad­min­is­tra­tor after step­ping away from the bench fol­low­ing the pro­gram’s most re­cent Fi­nal Four run in 2016-17. Dur­ing Tucker’s 32-year coach­ing ca­reer, Stan­ford won a pair of NCAA ti­tles, reached 13 Fi­nal Fours, 19 Elite Eights and 24 Sweet 16s. At the con­fer­ence level, the Car­di­nal claimed 23 Pac-12 reg­u­lar-sea­son cham­pi­onships, won 12 Pac-12 tour­na­ment ti­tles and posted a league record of 486-72 (.871).

Col­lege foot­ball

CLEM­SON LOSES FI­NAL DE­FEN­SIVE LINE MEM­BER TO NFL » Clem­son’s last mem­ber of its fear­some na­tional cham­pi­onship de­fen­sive front four in All-Amer­i­can Clelin Ferrell is join­ing his line­mates in head­ing to the NFL.

Ferrell an­nounced his in­ten­tion to de­clare for the NFL draft and give up his fi­nal sea­son in col­lege. His de­par­ture makes it a clean sweep of Clem­son’s de­fen­sive line All-Amer­i­can tackle Chris­tian Wilkins and end Austin Bryant were se­niors and tackle Dex­ter Lawrence en­tered the NFL draft on Wed­nes­day.

The group helped Clem­son lead the coun­try in sacks and was dom­i­nant up front in the Tigers’ 44-16 vic­tory over Alabama in the na­tional ti­tle game Mon­day night. OHIO STATE MAY LOSE QUAR­TER­BACK » Ohio State quar­ter­back Tate Martell may be look­ing to trans­fer. Martell has en­tered his name into the NCAA trans­fer por­tal, ac­cord­ing to a per­son with ac­cess to the por­tal. Martell list­ing his name with the NCAA means schools are now free to talk to him about a po­ten­tial trans­fer.

Ohio State lured Ge­or­gia trans­fer Justin Fields to com­pete for the start­ing spot. MORE TIME FOR ORE­GON STATE’S LU­TON » Ore­gon State quar­ter­back Jake Lu­ton has been granted a sixth year of el­i­gi­bil­ity by the NCAA. Lu­ton has started in just nine games for the Beavers since his first sea­son in 2017 be­cause of in­juries. That year he missed eight games with a spine in­jury, then last sea­son he missed all or parts of seven games with an an­kle sprain.

NFL

REID’S LAWYERS DIS­PUTE FIND­INGS, WANT RETRACTION » At­tor­neys for Eric Reid dis­pute a joint state­ment by the NFL and NFL Play­ers As­so­ci­a­tion that says the Carolina Pan­thers safety was not sin­gled out with ex­ces­sive drug tests and they’re de­mand­ing the league and the play­ers’ union “im­me­di­ately is­sue a retraction,” ac­cord­ing to a let­ter sent to all par­ties that was ob­tained by The As­so­ci­ated Press.

The let­ter ob­tained Thurs­day says Reid was in­deed tested at least seven times and re­quests the in­de­pen­dent ad­min­is­tra­tor pro­vide all in­for­ma­tion used to pro­duce the re­port.

Horse rac­ing

DERBY RAISES PURSE » The Ken­tucky Derby’s purse will be raised to $3 mil­lion this May, an in­crease of $1 mil­lion and the first boost in 14 years. Churchill Downs said the win­ner of the 145th run­ning will re­ceive $1.86 mil­lion.

Golf

ROOKIE LEADS IN HAWAII » Adam Svens­son of Canada capped off a rookie round to re­mem­ber with a 10-foot birdie putt for a 9-un­der 61 to take a one-shot lead in the open­ing round at the Sony Open in Hon­olulu. An­drew Put­nam set a tar­get in the morn­ing that looked tough to beat with a 62.

MARK BAKER – THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Andy Mur­ray wipes tears from his face dur­ing a press con­fer­ence to­day at the Aus­tralian Open. A tear­ful Mur­ray says the Aus­tralian Open could be his last tour­na­ment be­cause of a hip in­jury that has ham­pered him for al­most two years.

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