Andy Murray to decide in next week whether to have hip operation that could end his career

Simon Briggs
The Telegraph
Andy Murray has a big decision to make - REUTERS
Andy Murray has a big decision to make - REUTERS

Andy Murray says he will decide in the next week whether to have the major operation – sometimes known as “the Birmingham hip” –  that could potentially end his playing career.

After a thrilling five-set defeat at the hands of Roberto Bautista Agut, Murray acknowledged that he may never play again. But he is still holding out hope of a miraculous 11th-hour solution.

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“I have two options,” Murray said. “One is to take the next four-and-a-half months off, then build up and play Wimbledon. [The other is] a really big operation. There's no guarantees that you can come back from that.

“But there is the possibility, because guys have done it before. Bob Bryan [the 40-year-old doubles specialist] is doing it just now. Some other athletes have given it a go.

“I'll probably decide in the next week or so. But this might be my last match. If I go ahead with the operation, and I don't recover well from it, then I don't play again. It will improve my quality of life. I'll be in less pain doing normal things like walking around and putting your shoes and socks on. But if today was my last match, look, it was a brilliant way to finish. That's something that I'll probably take into consideration, as well. It was an amazing atmosphere.

“I literally gave everything that I had on the court, fought as best as I could, and performed a lot better than what I should have done with the amount I've been able to practice and train. Tonight was the most special match that I’ve played [in Australia], even though it was the first round of the tournament and I lost.”

Asked why his level of performance had been so much higher than against Novak Djokovic in Thursday’s infamous practice match, Murray replied “I was really nervous in the practice with Novak. Maybe because he's someone that obviously I respect a lot and have competed against here many, many times.

“I know that I'm not the same player as what I was. Also there's a little bit of me that is holding back. Let's say in my practice with Novak, I fly around the court, my hip is really sore the next day, it maybe means I can't play the tournament here.

“Today I knew it was potentially the last match I play. I don't care if I damage my hip any more, so it's a bit easier to deal with the pain knowing that I'm not going to play another match for at least five months.”

One more interesting topic emerged during the interview, when Murray was asked if he regretted training so hard throughout his career. He strongly agreed with that suggestion.

“For sure I would have been okay if I'd played a little bit less, taken a few more days off, spent a bit more time resting,” he said. “Right now, it's something that frustrates me because of the situation I'm in, and I wish I had done things a little bit differently.

“It's also been a flaw of mine. Like, some people might say, ‘It's a positive thing that Andy worked really, really hard.’ But I should have sometimes said, ‘No, I'm not doing that today.’ Or, ‘No, I don't want to train today, I'm sore, I need a day off.’ I didn't do that. I would always go along with what I was being told. That was a mistake.”

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