Andy Murray has revealed the most devastating part of his early retirement.
After nearly pulling off one of the gutsiest comebacks of his career, Murray faces an agonising decision between surgery on a chronic hip injury or a farewell match at his beloved Wimbledon.
The five-time Australian Open finalist most likely played his last match at Melbourne Park – and perhaps ever – after going down 6-4 6-4 6-7 (7-5) 6-7 (7-4) 6-2 to 22nd seed Roberto Bautista Agut on Monday.
The 31-year-old then opened up on his dilemma in his post-match press conference.
“If I go ahead with the operation [and] I don’t recover well from it, then I don’t play again,” he told reporters.
“I’m aware of that. That is the decision that I have to make.”
He then made the heartbreaking revelation that he knows his early retirement will most likely result in his young daughters never seeing him play at the pro level.
“I would like my daughters to come and watch me play a tennis match, hopefully understand what’s happening before I finish,” he said.
“But I’m aware that that probably isn’t going to happen now. I’m a bit sad about that.”
Murray has two daughters – two-year-old Sophie and one-year-old Edie – with wife Kim Sears.
Is he retiring or not?
The 31-year-old Scot had the crowd on their feet as he mustered a rousing fightback from two sets down in an absorbing contest lasting over four-hours
Murray came close to confirming it was his last Australian Open, telling the Melbourne Arena audience he would “maybe” see them again.
He now faces a call that could end or extend his career.
“I have basically like two options. One is to take the next four-and-a-half months off, then build up, play Wimbledon,” Murray said.
“But having an operation like that, there’s absolutely no guarantees I’d be able to play again.
“That is the decision that I have to make. It will improve my quality of life, I’ll be in less pain doing normal things like walking around and putting your shoes on.”
Murray said he had left nothing on the court after nearly claiming a memorable victory from two sets down.
Video tributes for the three-time major winner from the likes of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic were played on the big screen after the match.
“If it was my last match, look, it was a brilliant way to finish,” Murray said.
“I literally gave everything that I had on the court, fought as best as I could. I’d be okay with that being my last match.”