The 31-year-old former world No.1 announced he “can’t go on in such pain” in his Australian Open press conference
British tennis great Andy Murray will retire by the summer and says he is nearing the end.
The Scot will call it a day after accepting his hip injury isn’t improving.
Murray, 31, fought back the tears in his pre-tournament press conference – and even left the room at one point – before admitting he is close to hanging up his racket.
The two-time Wimbledon champion aims to say goodbye in July at the event he won in 2013 and 2016 – but the way he spoke tonight, he wasn’t sure how long he could continue.
But he accepts that he may not make SW19 – and next week’s Australian Open could be his final event because of the chronic pain.
He fears Monday’s first round match Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut could be his last ever game.
“I have been struggling for a long time,” he said. “I have been in a lot of pain for about 20 months now.
“I can’t put my shoes or socks on without any pain.
“I spoke to my team in December – and I said I can’t keep doing this. I needed to have an end point. Playing with no end to where the pain would stop.”
Asked if this could be his final event, he said: “For sure. I am not sure I can carry on like this for another four or five months.
“I said to my team I can get through this till Wimbledon. This is where I would like to stop playing. I am also not certain I am able to do that.”
He added: “I have done everything I could to get my hip feeling better and it hasn’t. I am in a better position than I was six months ago but I am still in a lot of pain. It has been tough.”
Murray says going under the knife one more time would end his career – but is considering it for a better “quality of life” in retirement.
“I have an option to have another operation, which is a little bit more severe than what I have had before,” he added. “Having my hip resurface, which will allow me to have a better quality of life, be out of pain.
“That is something I’m seriously considering right now. Some athletes have had that and gone back to competing.
“But there are obviously no guarantees with that, and it is not something…the reason for having an operation is not to return to professional sport, it’s just for a better quality of life.”