And so a golden career is nearing the end. Andy Murray's body is giving up on him.
Four months shy of his 32nd birthday, the Scotsman, arguably Britain's greatest sportsperson, has admitted tearfully that the ceaseless, thudding pain in his hip, which has made even putting on his socks an ordeal, will bring his playing days to a premature end. Monday's Australian Open first-round match against Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut could be his last.
"The pain is too much," the Briton, who has plunged to 230 in the world rankings, said in an emotional press conference in Melbourne Friday.
He had to leave the room to compose himself before returning to admit he had been struggling for "a long time." The 31-year-old was reportedly not the only one in the room crying. Some journalists shed a salty tear, too, because before them was a man who had achieved greatness but not changed as a person since he first emerged onto the men's Tour as a gangly, gifted, hirsute teenager.
Witty, honest, assiduous, decent -- all are adjectives used in the last few hours to describe the father of two.
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