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‘I don’t know if I’d announce my retirement’ – Murray thinking ahead after Norrie defeat

The former world No 1 was sent packing from Cincinnati courtesy of a combination of Cameron Norrie and cramp

Andy Murray Andy Murray (GBR) receives treatment after his match against Cameron Norrie (GBR) at the Western & Southern Open at the at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

Everyone was expecting Andy Murray to retire after the 2019 Australian Open as he headed into some serious hip surgery and rehab.

Three and a half years later, he’s not done yet – but he acknowledges the physical toll is becoming greater and greater. Against compatriot Cameron Norrie, the former world No 1 was suffering with cramp – something that he has been encountering more and more recently.

And when asked in his press conference if he had thought about when he might step away from the tour, Murray gave a characteristically thoughtful answer.

“It’s a difficult one. You know, obviously when I had the injury problems a few years ago and didn’t know whether I was going to be able to play…I maybe always envisaged finishing my career like in the UK or whatever. But when I played that match against Bautista [in the first round of the 2019 Australian Open, losing in five sets], like, I said to my team, if that was it and I don’t get to play again, I was more than happy with that being my last match, because, yeah, it was [an] amazing atmosphere, it was a great match, you know, I thought right to the end until I literally, could basically hardly walk at the end and left everything out on the court.

“That was, you know, for me, it would have been fine if that was how it finished. Yeah, there is part of it I think when you announce that you’re retiring that I would imagine like psychologically it’s quite difficult, as well. There is a lot of pressure then, I think, as well, because you want to perform and everyone, because it’s the last couple of tournaments…just the whole situation puts I think a lot of stress on the performance.

“So I don’t know. I don’t really know, to be honest. Don’t know whether I would announce something or whether I would just stop and that would be it. I don’t know.”

Murray: The cramp is a concern

The 35-year-old also talked about the cramp he had been experiencing in the deciding set, and admitted that it was a worry.

“I think pretty much every tennis player in their career has cramped usually in these sorts of conditions that we have had and sort of Newport, Washington, and here.

“But the consistency of it for me is a big concern. It’s not something that I have really experienced. I have experienced cramping but not consistently like over a number of tournaments.

“Big concern for me, because it’s not easy to play when it gets bad like it was at the end. Yeah, I feel like it had an impact on the end of the match.

“I’m not saying whether I would for sure win the match or not, but it certainly affected the way that I played a little bit right at the end, you know, from the middle of that set. You know, the same against Stan, I was fortunate to get through that one. I was lucky, was a break down obviously in that set.

“It was a problem, yeah, like I said in Washington against Ymer. I was really struggling for a good set and a half and certainly impacted the way I was able to play in that match. Newport, I was really lucky because it happened in the very last game and I was ahead. I managed to hold serve in that last game, but if I didn’t, who knows?

“It’s a big concern for me, that, and something that I need to address and find a solution for. No one knows exactly why cramps happen. There is many reasons, whether it’s hydration, whether it’s the food that you have taken in, whether it’s fatigue and lack of conditioning, stress. So, yeah, need to try and understand what’s going on there.”

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