A tearful and injury-plagued Andy Murray on Friday announced he is likely to retire this year and hopes to make it until Wimbledon, but conceded the Australian Open could be his last event.
The former world number one and three-time Grand Slam winner pulled out of last year’s Australian Open to have hip surgery and only returned in June at Queen’s Club in London.
He made just four more tournament appearances before ending his season after Shenzhen in September to concentrate on working his way back to full fitness.
But he was knocked out in the second round on his return at Brisbane last week and called it quits on Thursday after less an hour of a practice match with Novak Djokovic.
“I can play with limitations. But having the limitations and the pain is not allowing me to enjoy competing or training,” the emotional Scot said in Melbourne, breaking down in tears.
“Wimbledon is where I would like to stop playing, but I am not certain I am able to do that.
“Pretty much done everything that I could to try and get my hip feeling better and it hasn’t helped loads,” he added.
“I think there is a chance the Australian Open is my last tournament.”
While he intends to begin his opening round match against Roberto Bautista Agut at Melbourne Park next week, how his body withstands potentially five-set matches in energy-sapping heat remains to be seen.
“I’m going to play. I can still play to a level, not a level I’m happy playing at,” he said.
“The pain is too much really, it’s not something I want to continue playing that way.”