Murray: Despite his Chronic Hip challenge shows interest at the Australia Open match.
Andy Murray is due to begin his first round match at the Australian Open shortly – days after announcing that he is to retire this year because of a chronic hip condition.
The three-time Grand Slam champion is set to face Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut at Melbourne Park in what could well be the final match of the 31-year-old’s glittering career.
The former world number one said he would like to finish his career at Wimbledon, but admitted the Australian Open could be his last tournament.
Ahead of his evening clash with Bautista Agut, Murray said his troublesome hip had stacked the odds against him.
He told journalists: “I know I’ve got no chance of winning this tournament and most likely I’m going to lose in the first round.
“I’m not happy about that. Because of the way the last six months of competing have gone, I could win but it’s likely that I won’t. It’s going to be uncomfortable.
“If it is my last match, I want to try and enjoy it – enjoy the whole experience, which is maybe something during my career that I’ve not done. I’ve always been focused on tactics and winning and finding a way.”
Murray has never lost in three meetings with Bautista Agut and last beat the 22nd seed in the Shanghai Masters final in 2016, when the Scot was at his peak having just won his second Wimbledon title and Olympic gold in Rio.
Facts to know about Andy Murray
Andy Murray was born on May 15, 1987, in Glasgow, Scotland. He is the younger son of William and Judy Murray, an amateur tennis player who introduced her son to tennis when he turned three.
Andy Murray was born on May 15, 1987, in Glasgow, Scotland. He is the younger son of William (R) and Judy Murray (L).
Murray and his elder brother Jamie were coached by their mother Judy, until they turned pro in 2005 and 2004, respectively. Judy was an amateur tennis player who introduced Andy to the sport when he turned three.
Murray grew up in Dunblane, Scotland and went to Dunblane Primary School. He and Jamie were present when the infamous 1996 massacre took place at their school. Murray reportedly ran and hid in his headmaster’s office when a gun-toting man, Thomas Hamilton, killed 17 people – 16 students and one teacher – before committing suicide.
In 1999, Murray won the Junior Orange Bowl International Tennis Championship in Florida, U.S. The event brings together under-12 and under-14 tennis players from over 76 countries. Some of the past winners here include Chris Evert, Jimmy Connors and Andre Agassi.
In 2004, he topped the junior rankings after winning the U.S. Open junior title. The same year, he was named BBC’s “Young Sports Personality of the Year.” As of 2018, he is the only non-English athlete to win this award. Interestingly, he almost missed the event after he unknowingly locked himself up in a hotel loo.
In 2005, at the age of 17, Murray became the youngest British player to compete in Davis Cup. He turned pro the same year and entered the Queen’s Club Championships and Wimbledon on a wild-card. He reached the third round of Wimbledon in his maiden appearance, becoming the first Scot in the Open Era to do so.
Next year, Murray became the top-ranked British tennis player, ending Tim Henman’s seven-year run. The same year, at Cincinnati Masters, he ended Roger Federer’s 55-match unbeaten run on hard court. He was the only player, alongside Rafael Nadal, to beat Federer in 2006.
In 2006, Murray received an opportunity to train with his boyhood idol Andre Agassi. He was so nervous that he had sweaty hands and forgot his water bottle.
In 2012, Murray won the gold medal at London Olympics, beating Federer in straight sets and becoming the first British man to do so since Josiah Ritchie in 1908. He also partnered with Laura Robson to win an Olympic silver in mixed-doubles to become only the seventh man in the Open Era to win two medals at the same Olympic Games.
Later that year, Murray ended his wait for a maiden Grand Slam title, beating Novak Djokovic in five sets to win the U.S. Open.
Murray extended his form to Wimbledon the following year, when he won the prestigious event, beating Djokovic in the final. He became the first British player to win the title since Virginia Wade in 1977, and the first British man to achieve the feat since Fred Perry, 77 years before. Murray was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to tennis.
In 2014, he hired two-time women’s Grand Slam-winner Amelie Mauresmo (pictured) as coach, bucking the trend of male coaches in men’s circuit.
A sportsperson is required to follow a strict dietary regimen, but when Murray is not playing tournaments or preparing for Wimbledon he likes to down up to four Feast ice creams a day. “I can eat ice-cream from midday until I go to bed,” he once said.
In 2015, Murray helped Great Britain to win the Davis Cup for the first time since 1936. He defeated Belgium’s David Goffin to win the title for Great Britain, ending a 79-year wait.
He has had the rare chance of playing (impromptu!) against former U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron at the latter’s residence at 10 Downing Street in London, England, in 2010. “I was scared as I didn’t want to break anything. The prime minister was hitting the ball really hard at me,” he later said.
In April 2015, he married his girlfriend Kim Sears after a ten-year romance. The couple became parents to daughters Sophia and Edie in February 2016 and November 2017, respectively.
The tennis star bought a luxury hotel, Cromlix House Hotel & Restaurant, near his home town of Dunblane in 2013. This is where Murray and Sears held their wedding reception.
In 2016, Murray won his second Wimbledon title, beating Milos Raonic. He is the first British man to win multiple Wimbledon singles titles since Fred Perry in 1935. Later that year, he won the singles gold at the Rio Olympics, beating Juan Martín del Potro in the final. He became only the second man in the Open Era after Rafael Nadal to hold the Olympic singles gold medal and Wimbledon title simultaneously, besides being the first player, male or female, to win two Olympic gold medals in tennis singles.
In 2016, he became world no. 1 for the first time, becoming the first British player to achieve the feat since the introduction of rankings in 1973.
Murray is part of the fabled “Big Four” of the current generation tennis players, alongside Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. As of January 2019, his ATP win-loss record against Federer is 11-14, against Djokovic 11-25, and against Nadal 7-17.
In July 2017, a hip injury suffered during a Wimbledon quarterfinal clash against Sam Querrey forced the tennis champion to pull out of several tournaments, including the U.S. Open, and stay off court for the rest of the season.
Though troubled by the injury, Murray picked up the racket for an exhibition match against Federer in November 2017. All proceeds from the event went to UNICEF and other local charitable organizations.
After undergoing surgery on his right hip in January 2018, he made his comeback against Australia’s Nick Kyrgios at Queen’s Club (pictured). He lost that match but recorded his first win in almost a year at Eastbourne later that year. He then withdrew from Wimbledon but played in the U.S. Open and began 2019 with a pre-quarterfinal exit at the Brisbane International.
Ahead of the Australian Open in January 2019, Murray revealed plans to retire at Wimbldon in July. “I can play with limitations but having the limitations and the pain is not allowing me to enjoy competing or training. Wimbledon is where I would like to stop playing but I am not certain I am able to do that,” he said in an emotional press conference.
Both players’ fortunes have changed since they last faced each other over the net.
Bautista Agut is coming off an impressive run in Doha, where he beat Stan Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic and Tomas Berdych en route to winning the title.
Murray, in contrast, is ranked 230th in the world and was beaten in straight sets by Russia’s Daniil Medvedev at the Brisbane International warm-up.