Andy Murray set to retire soon: 'I'm likely not going to play past this summer'

Former world No 1 addresses continued speculation about his future after second-round defeat at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

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Andy Murray has given his clearest indication yet that he is on the verge of retirement after stating that he is unlikely to continue playing beyond this summer.

Murray has endured a difficult start to the season, losing six of eight matches, including his most recent on Wednesday in the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships to fifth seed Ugo Humbert.

Ever since undergoing radical hip resurfacing surgery in 2019, the former world No 1 has struggled to recapture the form that led him to three Grand Slam titles, leading to near-constant speculation about his future.

Speaking after his 6-2, 6-4 loss to Humbert, Murray again addressed the talk surrounding his possible retirement, hinting that he is set to call it quits in the next few months.

"I'm likely not going to play past this summer," Murray, 36, said. "I get asked about it after every single match that I play, every single tournament that I play. I'm bored of the question, to be honest. I'm not going to talk more about that between now and whenever the time comes for me to stop. But yeah, I don't plan on playing much past this summer."

That would suggest an appropriate swansong at Wimbledon, where Murray made history in 2013 as the first British male singles champion in 77 years. The Scot, who won his first major at the US Open in 2012, claimed his second Wimbledon crown in 2016.

Murray had hinted last month, after his first-round exit, that he had likely played his last Australian Open, a tournament where he has finished runner-up five times. The same is now set to be the case at the French Open in May. Murray has missed the past three French Opens in favour of longer preparation for the grass-court season, but with the end in sight, he is planning to return to Paris this year.

"The last few years I've tried to give myself better preparation for the grass season, but that also doesn't guarantee that you're going to play really well on the grass," he said. "I've had experiences through my career where I didn't play the French Open in 2013 and I won Wimbledon.

"I also played the French Open and did really well in 2016 [reaching the final]. I don't think it makes a huge difference if you get an extra week's practice or so on the grass. So yeah, I would like to play one more time."

A return to Roland Garros would provide ideal preparation for the Olympics, should Murray make the Great Britain team, as the tennis event will be held at the venue.

Murray is the only male player to win singles gold at successive Games, achieved at London 2012 and Rio 2016, but he insisted his plans to return to the French Open are not influenced by the Olympics.

"No, I like the tournament. I like playing at Roland Garros," he said. "Obviously, if you want to do well at the Olympics, you are probably going to have to play some tournaments and get matches in on the clay. Even if the Olympics was not after Wimbledon, I would still want to play it."

Murray has won a total of 46 singles titles in his career, including 14 at the Masters 1000 level – placing him fifth in the all-time standings – three Grand Slam titles, and the ATP Finals in 2016. He also led Great Britain to their first Davis Cup title in 79 years in 2015, winning a record-tying eight matches.

Murray's first-round win in Dubai against Denis Shapovalov was his 500th on hard courts, making him only the fifth player to achieve the feat on the ATP Tour, after Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andre Agassi, and Rafael Nadal.

Updated: February 28, 2024, 5:15 PM