Andy Murray may be retiring from professional tennis but will he be able to compete in the upcoming Wimbledon Tennis Championships this year?
An emotional press conference in Melbourne on Friday morning suggests the curtain is being hurriedly prepared to come down on Andy’s glittering tennis career. It’s hard to believe, really, since the guy is only 31. Especially as the ever-green Federer – approaching his 38th birthday – is a realistic bet to win his 3rd straight Australian Open title, and shows very little sign of slowing down.
A recurring hip injury, followed by some fairly significant surgery and rehab, seems to have done it for Murray. Too proud to continue without hitting his previous heights, Murray’s determination even extends to cutting his career short before others can do it for him.
And while it would be easy to be down about Murray’s impending retirement, it’s worth taking a moment to realise what he has actually achieved.
Two Wimbledon titles. One US Open title. The Olympics, for goodness sake!
Plus FIVE Australian Open finals. Even one appearance in the French Open final, in what was perhaps his finest year (2016) where he also finally hit that Number One world ranking.
Taken in the context of an era of unbelievable and unparalleled domination of the sport by Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, he has had an incredible career.
It’s also worth remembering that he’s not always found it easy with the British fans. The dry press conferences, the sometimes dour appearance, those on-court hissy fits.
But along with the early criticism of his physique, he addressed all of these things in his own way. Whether it was through appearances on Sports Relief, TV interviews, hitting the gym (hard!) and showing off the biceps on the court. He always seemed to have an answer.
And that Wimbledon win in 2013. Wow. 77 years of waiting for a British male winner. And then he goes and repeats it three years later! He spoiled us, really. And you only ever appreciate these things after they’re gone.
So the big question is, where do we go from here?
Kyle Edmund is the obvious place to start. Current British number one, Edmund reached the Aussie Open semi-finals in 2018 and won his first ATP title in Estoril in May. At the age of 24, he ought to be entering his peak years and there is plenty for us to be excited about. We should get behind him this June.
There’s also Liam Brodie and left-hander Cameron Norrie knocking on the door, but it remains to be seen whether either can make that difficult breakthrough at a Major. Norrie especially looks to be a talent.
In the women’s game, Johanna Konta remains the great big hope. Heather Watson and Katie Boulter are two who stand an outside chance in the Australian Open and beyond, but Konta is the most likely to make an impact, and she too needs the British public to get behind her.
I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that Murray can get through Melbourne unscathed, and have one last crack at Wimbledon. But even if he doesn’t, let’s celebrate what he has done for British tennis, and let him enjoy that knighthood.
Thank you, Andy. It’s certainly been emotional.
Written by Mike Oldham