'It will be very difficult': Andy Murray's surgeon slams brakes on Wimbledon farewell plans
Two-time Wimbledon winner Andy Murray has targeted next summer's grass court championship in London as his stage to step away from tennis but the Scot's surgeon says that his hip injury may prohibit him from making it that far.
Murray revealed on Friday in an emotional press conference ahead of the Australian Open that his time as a professional sportsman was coming to an end, revealing that a hip injury which has plagued him since 2017 is showing no signs of recovery.Also on rt.com 'The pain is too much': Tearful tennis star Murray announces impending retirement
He earmarked this summer's Wimbledon Championship, which begins on July 1, as an ideal setting to step away from the sport but admitted that the pain he is experiencing in his hip may well dash those plans - and apparently this is an opinion shared by the surgeon who oversaw the operation on his right hip.
"I don't think it is impossible, but it will be very difficult," Dr. John O'Donnell said on BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek radio programme, adding that the player has exhausted every avenue in an attempt to soothe his troublesome joint.
"He 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."
Murray is scheduled to face Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in his opening round match on Monday in a match which, if he loses, could potentially be his final appearance on the international tennis circuit.
The early stages of the Australian Open have been dominated by the news of Murray's impending retirement. The 31-year-old is a five-time finalist on the hard surface in Melbourne but a repeat of that feat in these particular circumstances would likely rank high on Murray's list of career achievements, given the prohibitive nature of his injury.
Never easy to make this decision but I want to congratulate you sir @andymurray for absolutely amazing carrer 👏🏼 hats off 🎩 #legendpic.twitter.com/hzKHzz97Ad— Tomáš Berdych (@tomasberdych) January 12, 2019
“We will always remember what you’ve done for tennis. Especially for women’s tennis.”Everyone at the WTA wishes you all the best, @andy_murray ❤️ pic.twitter.com/5kxf3mj5W2— WTA (@WTA) January 12, 2019
Anyone who has had back/hip issues will know what Andy Murray means about struggling to put his socks on. I remember just bursting into tears at that point. Incredible that he can play at all with those pain levels. Wish him well in whatever he does next— suzanne moore (@suzanne_moore) January 11, 2019
Several of Murray's rivals have offered their consolation at Murray's predicament, including Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, with the Spaniard saying that Murray's retirement is a loss to tennis as a whole.
READ MORE: 'I'd like to go out on my terms - Federer hints retirement plan after Murray announcement
"[It] will be a very important loss for us, for the world of tennis, for the tour, for the fans, even for the rivals that he has been part of a great rivalry between the best players for a long time, and a great competitor," Nadal said.
"But being honest, when somebody like him, that he achieved almost everything in his tennis career, is suffering like he's doing for such a long time already ... probably he does the right thing for his mental health."