Britain’s Andy Murray says he may quit professional tennis after this year’s Wimbledon but fears next week’s Australian Open could be the final tournament of his career.
A tearful Murray, who is struggling to recover from hip surgery, revealed this at a press conference in Melbourne on Friday.
The former world number one had surgery on his right hip last January and has played 14 matches since returning to the sport since last June.
He ended his 2018 season in September to spend time working with rehabilitation expert Bill Knowles but still looked short of the required level when he played world number one Novak Djokovic in an open practice match at Melbourne Park on Thursday.
“I’m not feeling good, I’ve been struggling for a long time,” the three-time Grand Slam winner said.
“I’ve been in a lot of pain for about 20 months now. I’ve pretty much done everything I could to try and get my hip feeling better and it hasn’t helped loads.
“I’m in a better place than I was six months ago but I’m still in a lot of pain. I can still play to a level, but not a level I have played at.
“The pain is too much really. I need to have an end point because I’m playing with no idea of when the pain will stop.
“I’d like to play until Wimbledon – that’s where I’d like to stop playing – but I’m not certain I’m able to do that.
“I have the option of another operation which is a little bit more severe – and involves having my hip resurfaced – which would allow me to have a better quality of life and be free of pain.
“That’s something I’m seriously considering now. Some athletes have had it and gone back to competing but there’s no guarantee of that.
“If I had it, it would be to have a better quality of life.”