Emotional Andy Murray says pain may force him to retire before Wimbledon

A distraught <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/olympics/rio-2016/a/1211276/" data-ylk="slk:Andy Murray">Andy Murray</a> delivered the surprising news of his impending retirement at a media conference Thursday. (Getty)
A distraught Andy Murray delivered the surprising news of his impending retirement at a media conference Thursday. (Getty)

Andy Murray delivered difficult news at an emotional news conference Thursday, announcing that the upcoming Australian Open may be his last tournament.

Plagued by a hip injury and broken down from pain, the British three-time Grand Slam winner told reporters that he hoped to make it to Wimbledon, but wasn’t sure he’d be able to.

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Pain may keep Murray from competing at Wimbledon

“Wimbledon is where I would like to stop playing but I’m not certain I’ll be able to do that. I’m not certain I can play through the pain for another four-five months.”

Murray, 31, had to leave the 10-minute news conference to compose himself before returning to answer questions as he struggled to cope with the almost immediate, impending end to his career.

Doctor delivered bad news earlier in the day

Murray told reporters he reached the conclusion after consulting Thursday with his surgeon John O’Donnell, who operated on his hip last year and convinced him he should not continue playing tennis. 

“I have a severely damaged right hip, having the operation last year was to give it the best possible chance of being better,” Murray said. “I can play with limitations. But having the limitations and the pain is not allowing me to enjoy competing or training.”

Murray plans to play Aussie Open match Monday

Murray is scheduled to face Spain’s Roberto Bautista at the Australian Open and intends to play the match. 

“I’m going to play. I can still play to a level. Not a level that I’m happy playing at. But also, it’s not just that. The pain is too much, really and … I don’t want to continue playing that way.

Murray said that he’s been dealing with his hip pain for almost 20 months and has exhausted avenues to continue playing with the injury.

“In the middle of December, 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. I felt like making that decision — 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’s one-time rival Andy Roddick sent well wishes to Murray on Twitter when the news broke.

“If this is true, I tip my cap to Andy Murray, Roddick wrote. “Absolute legend. Short list of best tacticians in history. Unreal results in brutal era. Nothing but respect here. I hope he can finish strong and healthy.”

Murray has made 11 Grand Slam finals with wins at Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016 and at the U.S. Open in 2012. He has 45 career singles titles and more than $61 million in career earnings.

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