As it looks more and more likely that Sir Andy Murray’s career is coming to a close, talk is increasing of when Murray’s final match will be and whether his defeat against Roberto Bautista Agut will have been his last match.
American doubles player Bob Bryan has told Murray that having hip surgery could prolong his career, as he himself underwent the procedure last year, but that singles matches are a lot tougher than doubles and although the surgery is likely to give him a better quality of life, there are no guarantees that he’ll return to his best, or even to the tennis court at all.
His defeat at the hands of Spaniard Agut will have done little to alter the Australian Open odds on Paddy Power, which currently sees Novak Djokovic as the favourite at 11/10 and the defending champion Roger Federer as the second favourite at 4/1.
While Murray’s hopes of adding a fourth grand slam title to his collection are looking slim, could he at least make this year’s Wimbledon?
What the Scotsman has achieved in his career has been fantastic, giving the UK its first men’s singles Wimbledon champion since Fred Perry in 1936. While he divides opinion in the United Kingdom, it is hard to argue that when at the top of his game, Murray is one of the best tennis players in the world. He has been unlucky in the last few years with his hip problem and should he be able to recover sufficiently, then a final match at Wimbledon would be a great send off.
For British players at least, Wimbledon is the most highly anticipated tournament in the tennis season. For Murray, the tournament evokes great memories as, in both the 2013 and 2016 Wimbledon tournaments, Murray was able to come out on top, defeating long-time friend Novak Djokovic in the 2013 final and the Canadian Milos Raonic in the 2016 final, both in straight sets.
The British grass courts have not only been kind to Murray in the Wimbledon grand slam. At the 2012 Olympics, hosted by London, the Wimbledon tennis courts were used to stage the tennis matches. Murray won the gold medal for Great Britain, defeating Swiss superstar Roger Federer in straight sets.
Murray has already officially withdrawn from tournaments in Marseille, Montpellier and Dubai in February and it is still up in the air as to whether he will undergo a hip resurfacing operation or take a break from competitions and instead train ahead of this year’s Wimbledon. If he were to undergo surgery, it is unlikely that he would be back to his best in time for the big showpiece that is Wimbledon, although he could still make an appearance and perform at a higher level than his current injury allows him to.
A big decision lies ahead for the two-time Wimbledon champion. By taking it easy over the coming months we could see Murray take to the court on last time at Wimbledon. However, if he takes the option of surgery and it is a success, then we could see Murray compete at a couple more Wimbledon’s yet.