Andy Murray has opened up to journalists about the moment he knew he couldn’t continue playing the sport he loves.
The 31-year-old announced his plans to retire from professional tennis in an emotional press conference on Friday.
In the shock announcement, Britain’s most successful tennis player announced his desire to end his career at Wimbledon in the summer but concedes that the Australian Open starting on Monday may be his last ever tournament.
However, in the aftermath of the press conference, it has become clear as to the reasons for Murray’s retirement having admitted to being left in tears due to the excruciating hip pain he has been struggling to manage for the past 18 months.
And Murray has told journalists that it was during an off-season practice match against Fernando Verdasco when he recognised it was the end of the road.
He was trailing the Spaniard 7-5, 4-3 in Miami before bringing the match to a premature conclusion to have a discussion with his team.
"After I practiced with Verdasco I told my team in the locker room, like 'This is it, I need to know when this is over'," revealed the former world number one, per the Daily Mail.
"I didn't lose the practice heavily. It was something like 7-5, 4-3. My hip was hurting and I was in pain. As the practice went on, it was getting worse and I was thinking 'I can't do this. What I am doing this for?'
"I had tears in my eyes and said 'My hip is killing me. I shouldn't be continuing to go through that for nothing anymore.'
"The same sequence was happening — as soon as I started to increase my tennis load and play matches, the pain gets worse and my performance drops and I have to take a rest for a few days. It was enough."
It would appear that injuries have finally caught up to the two-time Wimbledon champion and his glittering 13-year long career has reached the final stretch.
Melbourne Park is a place that will hold a lot of disappointment and regret for Murray when he looks back on his career, having been a five-time runner-up at the Australian Open, and the tournament is unlikely to hold fond memories this year either.
It would be nothing short of a miracle for Murray to go one better and claim an elusive title down under.
He faces the 21st seed Roberto Bautista-Agut in a tricky first-round clash on Monday. The Spaniard has started the season in impeccable form having defeated world number one Novak Djokovic on the way to clinching the Qatar Open title.
If he is to fall at the first hurdle, it could mark the sad end the career of arguably Britain’s greatest ever sportsman, Sir Andy Murray.