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Andy Murray odds-on for first round exit after admitting Australian Open may be final tournament

Leigh Copson 11 Jan 2019
A tearful Andy Murray reveals his retirement plan (credit: Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Andy Murray is odds-on for a first-round exit at the Australian Open after revealing the first Grand Slam tournament of 2019 could be his final outing as a professional tennis player.

READ MORE: Get a rundown of the outright Australian Open betting odds for the men's draw.

The three-time Grand Slam champion and back-to-back Olympic gold medal winner has been battling a hip injury for the past 18 months and underwent surgery a year ago in an attempt to overcome the problem, but that operation does not appear to have been successful.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the start of the Australian Open, a tearful Murray admitted that he has been playing in pain for almost two years and went on to reveal that the injury will bring an end to his career this year.

The 31-year-old has set his sights on bowing out at Wimbledon, the scene of two of his famous Grand Slam successes, but he admits the pain could force him to hang up his racket before his ‘home’ Grand Slam tournament.

“Obviously I've been struggling for a long time, and I've been in a lot of pain for about 20 months now,” Murray said.

“I've pretty much done everything that I could to try and get my hip feeling better and it hasn't helped loads. I'm in a better place than I was six months ago but still in a lot of pain. It's been tough.

“I'm going to play. I can still play to a level, just not a level that I'm happy playing at. But it's not just that. The pain is too much really and I don't want to continue playing that way.

“During my training block [in Miami in December] I spoke to my team and told them I can't keep doing this. I needed to have an end point because I was sort of playing with no idea when the pain was going to stop.

“I said to my team, look I think I can get through this until Wimbledon. That's where I'd like to stop playing. But I'm also not certain I'm able to do that.”

The former world number one went on to concede that he could call time on his career at the Australian Open, which gets underway on Monday, and that means his first-round match-up against Roberto Bautista-Agut could prove to be his final outing.

So will it be one and done for Murray Down Under or will he extend his glittering career by at least one more match?

Bookmaker bet365 believes the Scot will make a swift exit from the opening Grand Slam of the season, making the five-time Australian Open finalist a 10/3 underdog for his match against Bautista-Agut.

The Spaniard, despite being 0-3 against Murray in his career, is considered a 2/9 favourite.


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Andy Murray odds-on for first round exit after admitting Australian Open may be final tournament

Andy Murray is odds-on for a first-round exit at the Australian Open after revealing the first Grand Slam tournament of 2019 could be his final outing as a professional tennis player.

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