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Andy Murray isn't doing himself many favours but he has won right to retire on his terms

As Andy Murray undergoes scans today to discover if he will be fit for Wimbledon, the end of his fabulous career seems nearer than ever.

But perhaps nobody wants to make less of a big deal about his final appearance – whether that is at SW19 or the Olympics – than the great man himself.

The All England Club have got tributes prepared if he calls it a day during The Championships which start on July 1.

Yet one of his team told me earlier this year: “You can just imagine him coming in after a match and just saying halfway through his post-match press conference: ‘That’s it, I’m done’ without any fanfare. That would be so him.”

He has certainly earned the right to say goodbye in any way that he wants. And he felt uncomfortable at the 2019 Australian Open – when the tournament organisers played a montage of tributes after his first-round loss – not only because he did not want to retire.

Over five years later with a metal hip, he is still going.

Before this 1,000th ATP Match at the cinch Championships this week, he gave an insight into his inner turmoil and reluctance to finally hang up his racquet. Rafa Nadal is in a similar quandary. The 14-time French Open champion did not want to be honoured at Roland Garros last month and has hinted wants to keep going.

And Murray also does not want his job to end – does not feel it should be a celebration when it does.

“In lots of careers, retirement is something that you celebrate,” he told the BBC. “People really look forward to it. That is not something that I feel – I still love playing tennis. But ultimately, if physically you are not able to play the level that you want to or your results are not as you wish, those things factor into the decision. See a little bit how the next few weeks go and see what happens.”

Murray added on Monday: “A lot of it is based on results and physically how I am feeling as well.”

Playing two matches in under 24 hours showed he is not in a good place and he will undergo scans to establish the seriousness of his back injury – and might need painkilling injections to play at Wimbledon. Going back to play on the clay at the Olympics – especially when his planned doubles partner Dan Evans is also struggling with injury – now seems like a big risk.

Keeping put his body through such pain and suffering is not good now – or for later life.

Waving to a stunned Centre Court crowd at Queen’s Club after retiring after only five games against Jordan Thompson on Wednesday is no way to say goodbye.

“I will get scans tomorrow and get it rechecked and see if there’s anything that can be done,” he said.

Yet the timing of retirement for top stars is so difficult – and the longer you leave it, the less control you have. Pete Sampras never played again after his then record 14th Grand Slam title at the 2002 US Open at the age of 31. Roger Federer lost his final set 6-0 to Hubert Hurkacz in the 2020 Wimbledon quarter-finals aged 39 and his knees stopped him playing competitively again.

The All England Club, where Murray became the first British male singles winner since Fred Perry, still seems the best place to play his final match, probably with his brother Jamie in the men’s doubles. But just don’t expect the double Olympic and Wimbledon champion and knight of the realm to make a song and dance about it.


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