MELBOURNE, Australia — Still struggling with a hip injury that has limited him since June 2016, Andy Murray announced Friday that he would retire after this year’s Wimbledon — if not sooner.
Murray said that his decision to end his playing career this year came during his off-season training in December.
“I spoke to my team, and I told them, ‘I cannot keep doing this,’ ” Murray said in an emotional news conference in Melbourne. “I needed to have an end point because I was sort of playing with no idea when the pain was going to stop. I felt like making that decision.
“I said to my team, ‘Look, I think I can get through this until Wimbledon.’ That’s where I would like to stop playing. But I am also not certain I am able to do that.”
Murray, 31, became the first British male singles champion at a Grand Slam tournament in 76 years when he won the United States Open in 2012. He won Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016, and won Olympic gold medals in singles in 2012 and 2016. Murray reached the ATP’s No. 1 ranking for the first time at the end of the 2016 season, holding on to it through Wimbledon the next year.
Considered by many the greatest athlete in Scottish history, Murray was knighted at 29.
Just two years later, his acceptance of his mortality in the sport was clear. Murray broke down after the opening question of his news conference on Friday: “How are you feeling, and how is the hip injury?”
“Yeah, not great,” Murray said, his voice quavering. He then sighed and let his emotions flood in, and left the interview room for about three minutes to compose himself.
“Yeah, not feeling good,” he said when he returned. “Obviously, I’ve been struggling for a long time. I have been in a lot of pain.
“Well, it’s been probably about 20 months now. I have pretty much done everything that 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 still in a lot of pain. Yeah, it has been tough.”
The outlook for Murray’s tournament had looked bleak already. In a practice match Thursday, Murray was thrashed by his longtime rival Novak Djokovic, with Djokovic leading, 6-1, 4-1, before their time slot on court ended.