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Andy Murray plans to retire this season

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Andy Murray said he hopes to retire this season after Wimbledon, but acknowledged he might not make it to that point.

Murray, 31, spoke through tears at a press conference in the lead-up to the Australian Open, citing a painful hip injury that is “not allowing me to enjoy any of the stuff that I love about tennis.”

“I can still play to a level, [but] not a level I’m happy playing at,” he said. “The pain is too much.”

Murray said he had been dealing with a hip injury for years but the pain has worsened in the last 20 months, making day-to-day tasks, like walking and putting on socks, uncomfortable. “I spoke to my team and I told them that I can’t keep doing this,” he said. “I said to my team, ‘I think I can get through this till Wimbledon. That’s where I’d like to stop playing. But I’m also not certain I’m able to do that.”

When asked if the Australian Open could be his last tournament, Murray paused to gather his thoughts and said, “I think there’s a chance of that.”

Murray is a three-time Grand Slam winner and the only player to win two straight singles titles at the Olympics. In his first Grand Slam title, at the 2012 US Open, Murray beat Novak Djokovic in the final to become the first British man to win a major since Fred Perry at the 1936 US Open. He reached another milestone with his second Grand Slam title at 2013 Wimbledon, topping Djokovic to become the first British man to win the tournament in 77 years. He won a second Wimbledon title in 2016. He has also been outspoken about gender issues in sports, advocating for equal prize money and more women’s matches on centre court at Wimbledon. In 2014, Murray hired Amelie Mauresmo as his coach. He wrote in a 2015 column published by French sports paper L’Equipe, “Have I become a feminist? Well, if being a feminist is about fighting so that a woman is treated like a man then yes, I suppose I have.”

Andy Murray ousted at U.S. Open, worries about rules

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NEW YORK — Andy Murray‘s return to the U.S. Open was brief. His briefest Grand Slam singles stay in 10 years.

The three-time major champion was ousted by No. 31 Fernando Verdasco of Spain 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the sweltering second round on Wednesday.

It’s his earliest Grand Slam singles exit since the 2008 Australian Open.

Murray, who won his first Slam at the 2012 U.S. Open, was playing his first major since 2017 Wimbledon.

Murray cut short his 2017 season and missed the first three Slams of 2018 due to a hip injury that required winter hip surgery.

“I think some of the tennis I played today was some of the best I’ve played since I had the surgery or since I came back,” Murray said. “But there were also periods in the match, especially in the first set, where, you know, I really didn’t play particularly well.”

Murray, the 2012 and 2016 Olympic gold medalist, came to New York ranked No. 382 due to the absence, having played just seven ATP matches in the last year.

“The last 10 years or so I’ve been coming and trying to prepare to win the event, whereas I don’t feel like that’s realistic for me this year,” Murray said before the tournament.

“There’s for sure doubts about [returning to the top],” he said Wednesday. “I mean, when I got the injury, I was ranked No. 1 in the world. Twelve months later, you know, things completely changed.”

Verdasco, a 34-year-old whose deepest Grand Slam run was a 2009 Australian Open semifinal, gets No. 3 Juan Martin del Potro in the third round.

Murray complained that Verdasco might have flouted the rules during their 10-minute heat break.

Murray also said that the tournament did not do a good enough job of making clear exactly what is allowed and what isn’t during the time away from the court. The U.S. Tennis Association decided on the fly to allow rest periods in men’s matches for the first time in U.S. Open history as the temperature soared past 95 degrees (33 Celsius) this week.

While the women’s rules already call for a break if the conditions are too extreme, there is no such provision for the men. But on Tuesday, the USTA offered men a chance to rest after the third set if they want, then applied that rule on Wednesday, too.

“I went for a shower. He was having an ice bath,” Murray said about Verdasco. “When I came out of the shower … one of the Spanish doubles players was in there chatting to him, and you’re not allowed to speak to your coach. I went and told the supervisor. I said, ‘What are you guys doing? I mean, there’s clear rules here and you’re allowing this to take place. I don’t get it.’”

The USTA said players were not allowed to consult coaches during the heat breaks.

Verdasco said that’s not what he was doing. He said he was chatting with another player and that player’s coach.

“I didn’t talk one word with my coach or any one member of my team,” said Verdasco, who had been 1-13 against Murray head-to-head entering this match. “I know exactly the rule, and I don’t want to be the one breaking it.”

But Murray was upset that there wasn’t better policing of players while they were off the court.

“This is one of the biggest events in the world. If you have rules like that, you need to stick with them, because one player getting to speak to the coach and the other not is not fair,” said the three-time major champion and former No. 1.

“I shouldn’t be in that position, in the middle of a match at a Slam, having to make sure they’re doing their job,” he said.

Murray also said he was never given a complete written list of the relevant rules.

“The players and teams should know. I’m not blaming Fernando and his team. They probably weren’t aware that that was the rules. They certainly weren’t trying to break any rules. It shouldn’t be for the player that’s competing against him to have to go to the supervisor,” Murray said. “If I hadn’t said anything, they would have been chatting, chatting about the match, giving tactics and stuff.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Andy Murray withdraws from Wimbledon

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LONDON (AP) — Two-time champion Andy Murray pulled out of Wimbledon on Sunday because of a bad hip that has been a problem for about a year and was surgically repaired less than six months ago.

The All England Club announced Murray’s withdrawal a day before the grass-court Grand Slam tournament begins.

“I’ve made significant progress in practice and matches over the last 10 days, but after lengthy discussions with my team and with a heavy heart, we’ve decided that playing best-of-five-set matches might be a bit too soon in the recovery process,” Murray said in a statement released by his manager. “We did everything we could to try to be ready in time.”

Murray’s first-round match against Benoit Paire was scheduled for Tuesday. Murray beat Paire in the fourth round at Wimbledon last year as the defending champion, then lost to Sam Querrey in the quarterfinals, clearly hampered by the hip, and did not play again for the rest of 2017.

The 31-year-old Murray had an operation in January and returned to competition a little less than two weeks ago.

“I will start practicing on the hard courts from tomorrow and continuing with my rehab and recovery and I’m looking forward to the U.S. hard-court season,” Murray’s statement read. “Thanks for all the messages of support, and I’m excited to finally be back playing after so long out.”

In 2013, he became the first British man in 77 years to collect a Wimbledon singles title, and he won the championship again in 2016. He’s reached at least the quarterfinals in each of his past 10 appearances at the All England Club.

Considered a member of the ruling “Big 4” quartet of men’s tennis, along with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, Murray also won the 2012 U.S. Open and two Olympic singles gold medals.

But all of his time away meant the former No. 1-ranked Murray has fallen out of the top 150 and he was not seeded at Wimbledon.

At a pre-tournament news conference Saturday, he said he planned to play in the tournament unless, he explained, “I wake up and don’t feel good.”

He added: “There’s certain things that are still tricky and things I’m still trying to work through. These things are significantly better than what they were a few months ago. That’s for sure. But, you know, again, it just takes time.”

The first match of his comeback came at the Queen’s Club grass-court tournament on June 19. Still with a hitch in his gait, Murray played more than 2½ hours before losing to Nick Kyrgios in three sets.

This past week, again on grass, Murray beat fellow three-time major champion Stan Wawrinka, before losing to countryman Kyle Edmund.

“I don’t think I played amazing in the matches,” Murray said Saturday, “but I think I’ve done well, considering the opponents.”

There will be no opponents for him next week at a place that has come to define his career. Instead, Murray’s spot in the draw will be taken by Jason Jung of Taiwan, who lost in qualifying.

MORE: Wimbledon draws announced

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