What is Andy Murray's hip problem, and will he retire after loss to Bautista Agut?January 14, 2019
In an emotional news conference before the Australian Open, sobbing Murray revealed he is in almost constant agony.
But he then played through the pain barrier in an agonising five-set defeat to Roberto Bautista Agut in the Australian Open first round.
What is Andy Murray's hip problem?
Andy Murray’s plight began on June 27, 2017.
A sore hip forced him to withdraw from an exhibition match at the Hurlingham Club on the eve of Wimbledon.
By July 12, 2017, he was noticeably suffering and lost in the Wimbledon quarter finals.
Since then the problem has come back.
In January 2018 he had hip surgery in Australia saying he hoped to play at Wimbledon.
But he pulled out if the SW19 competition after struggling in the grass court tournament at Queens.
On January 11, 2019, he said: “Obviously I’ve been struggling for a long time. I have been in a lot of pain for probably about 20 months now.
“I have pretty much done everything that I could to try and get my hip feeling better. It hasn’t helped loads.
“I’m in a better place than I was six months ago, but still in a lot of pain. Yeah, it has been tough.”
Could the injury end his career?
Andy Murray has been preparing for the 2019 season knowing that his career will be over within months.
The Scot announced in his news conference that he will retire from tennis after Wimbledon… but potentially earlier.
During his training programme in December, he told his support group that the pain was becoming too much and that he needed to set a date for retirement.
Murray says that going under the doctor’s knife one more time may end his career – and would be to ensure he has a better “quality of life” in retirement.
He said: “I’m not sure I am able to play through the pain for another four or five months.
“I have an option to have another operation, which is a little bit more severe than what I have had before. 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.”
And the doctor who carried out his operation also weighed in on the discussion, saying it will be difficult for Murray to continue to Wimbledon.
Dr John O’Donnell told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme: “I don’t think it is impossible, but it will be very difficult.
“He enjoys the Australian Open, and has been very keen to play, but Wimbledon is the high point for him.
"Ideally he would want to play there, but I imagine once you make the decision that you are going to stop it must get very difficult to keep going with the rehab, never-ending exercising, and putting up with the pain.
"Once you see the end in sight, I guess it would be harder to get motivated.
“Andy has tried really hard and explored every option that has any real possibility of being helpful.
"Realistically I don’t think there is anywhere else to go to preserve his hip and get it better so he can continue to play. That won’t happen now.”
What are the highlights of his career?
Summer of 2012
Only a month after his tearful fourth grand slam final loss to Roger Federer at Wimbledon, Murray gained redemption in spectacular fashion by emphatically defeating the Swiss to claim Olympic gold on Centre Court.
He followed it up at the US Open by ending the long wait for a British male grand slam singles champion with a dramatic five-set victory over Novak Djokovic.
The victory that will always be top of the pile came on a glorious summer's day at SW19.
Murray faced Djokovic again in front of an expectant crowd on Centre Court and rode the wave to finally consign Fred Perry to history, surviving a nerve-jangling final game.
Davis Cup glory
Wimbledon was Murray's crowning individual glory but arguably his most extraordinary accomplishment was winning the Davis Cup for Britain almost single-handed.
His brother Jamie and James Ward chipped in but Murray won an unprecedented 11 out of 12 rubbers across four ties.
2016 Wimbledon and Olympics
After reuniting with Ivan Lendl, Murray swept to his third slam title at Wimbledon, this time beating Milos Raonic.
And a month later he made some history for himself, overcoming Juan Martin Del Potro in Rio to become the first tennis player to successfully defend an Olympic singles title.
The season of Murray's career had a golden ending when a run of five straight tournament victories, culminating in victory at the ATP Finals in London, carried him to the world number one ranking.
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