Andy Murray has again voiced his concern ahead of his Australian Open first-round match that pain in his hip may put paid to his plans to retire at Wimbledon.
The Scots tennis star revealed plans to hang up his racquet at SW19 this year but the two-time winner of the oldest tennis tournament may have to bow out before then depending on how his body reacts to his participation in Melbourne.
Speaking to EuroSport ahead of his clash with Roberto Bautista Agut at Melbourne Park on Monday, Murray admitted that the pain gets worse after one or two matches.
He said: “Physically, [I’m] not very good. It’s been a struggle for a long time, pretty much 12 months.
“I’ve done everything I could to get better, after the surgery; I’ve done lots of rehab but nothing’s helped.
“Mentally, I’m kind of okay with that, but it’s very tough.
“I can play, I’ve won matches and beaten good players since I started playing again - I just can’t sustain it.
“After one or two matches, the pain gets worse. It’s tough, and it’s not fun any more.
“Longer term - I always wanted to finish playing at Wimbledon - but I’m not sure if that’s possible so....”
The 31-year-old looked to fight back tears as he attempted to finish his sentence, but the brief interview was wrapped up.
Dr John O’Donnell, who operated on the player’s troublesome right hip, has voiced his concern that Murray may struggle to soldier on until Wimbledon, saying: “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.”
• We’ll have a report from Murray’s first-round match on scotsman.com/tennis after the game.