Andy Murray is contemplating almost immediate retirement after appearing to be hoping for more than eighteen months.
In an emotional press conference this morning the two-time Wimbledon champion was in tears as he showed that he had the last tournament he plays.
Murray seems to have been overwhelmed by the struggle to overcome the hip issue that surfaced in earnest during the grass court season of 2017.
Andy Murray, Britain's greatest ever tennis player, is set to retire this year due to hip injury
The Scot broke down in tears during his press conference as he announced his decision
The former World No 1 has been struggling with his injury for more than eighteen months
He has wanted to go on Wimbledon this summer but that still feels like a bridge too far. The 31 year-old Scot, who was thrashed in a practice match by Novak Djokovic on Thursday, still plans to take his place in the Melbourne draw but could not rule out that he would have to walk away from Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut .
If it did not matter that British sporting careers or recent times in a sport in which Britain has had scant success.
Murray started his press conference by replying 'I'm not great' when asked how he was feeling. He then became emotional and left the room for several minutes to compose himself.
Upon returning he talked or how the pain in his hip had become such an order that even the simple act of putting on socks was causing him difficulty. It seems that his dream of his daughters being able to watch him seriously compete is now, sadly, at an end.
The 31-year-old will still play in the Australian Open, where he faces Roberto Bautista Agut
Murray wants to finish his career at Wimbledon this year, but his fitness may stop that
ANDY MURRAY FACTS
Born: May 15, 1987
Height: 6ft 3 '
Wife: Kim Sears
Children: Sophia (2), Edie (18 months)
Grand Slam titles: 3 (Wimbledon 2013, 2016, US Open 2012)
Career wins: 663
Career titles: 45
Highest ranking: World No. 1
Current ranking: World No 230
"Obviously I have been struggling a long time and I have been in pain for about twenty months now," he said. 'I've done pretty much everything that I can do and have my hip feeling better and it has not helped loads. I'm in a better place I was six months ago but still in a lot of pain. It's tough.
'I'm going to play here. I am still playing a certain level, not a level I'm hapy playing at. It's not just that. The pain is too much, I do not want to continue playing that way.
'I've done pretty much everything I could not have done. In the middle of December I spoke to my team and told them. I thought I needed to have an end point, because I was playing with no idea or when the pain was going to stop.
'I said to them, I could not go through this until Wimbledon, that is where I would like to stop playing.
Asked whether this could turn out to be his last event he replied 'There's a chance of that for sure.'
Murray would love to have his final bow on the center court but he'd have a bad time.
The signs were not good for Murray as he was thrashed in a practice match by Novak Djokovic
'I'm not sure I'm able to play through the pain for another four or five months. I have considered another operation that is a little more severe. I could have my hip resurfaced which would allow me a better quality of life. I'm seriously considering that right now but there's no guanratees with it. '
'It would be nice to have it, and that would be the reason for me doing it.'
He would be very pessimistic that it would be the child of surgery that would allow him to play again. He just ruled out the idea of becoming a doubles player, which would require less movement.
Murray saw his Australian surgeon, John O'Donnell on Thursday, the same man on January 8, last year.
'I have a severly damaged right hip,' was Murray's conclusion. 'The pain is not allowing me to enjoy competing.'
He also spoke of the mental turmoil or having questions about his health: 'I bump into that' s all they want to talk about, it 's pretty draining. I have spoken to psychologists about it. It's not fun or enjoyable. '
Murray's career highlights include two Wimbledons, a US Open title and two Olympic gold medals, at London and Rio. He also carried Great Britain to victory in the 2015 Davis Cup, winning eleven matches over four rounds under the old format.
However, it now appears that it is purely a question of being able to get through the next few weeks, let alone recapture former glories.
Reaction to the news was swift on Thursday night, with America's former world number one Andy Roddick leading the way.
He took to Twitter, writing: 'I tip my cap to @andy_murray! Absolute legend. Short list of best tacticians in history. Unreal results in a brutal era …… Nothing but respect here. I hope he can finish strong and healthy. '
Murray is a two-time Wimbledon winner, a US Open winner and a former World No. 1
Murray poses with the Wimbledon trophy, and his wife Kim, after his first victory in 2013
SIR ANDY MURRAY BY NUMBERS
1 – Murray became the first British singles player ever to be ranked world number one on November 7, 2016.
41 – The number of weeks spent on the top of the rankings.
3 – Grand slam titles
11 – Grand slam finals
45 – Career singles titles
2 – Doubles titles, both with brother Jamie
9 – Singles titles in 2016, including five in a row as the world number one
2 – Olympic singles gold medals
11 – Murray won all 11 rubbers in the Great Britain to Davis Cup glory in 2015, an unprecedented feat
663 – Tour-level matches won
£ 47,887,068 – Career prize money
3 – Only person to be named BBC Sports Personality of the Year three times
5,573 – Aces served
29 – Combined wins against Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic