Andy Murray drops retirement hint after win in Dubai, Latest Tennis News - The New Paper

Andy Murray drops retirement hint after win in Dubai

DUBAI – Andy Murray hinted that this could be his last season after he recorded his 500th hardcourt win with a 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 victory over Canada’s Denis Shapovalov in the first round of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Feb 26.

The Scot joined Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andre Agassi and Rafael Nadal as the only players to reach the 500th tour-level win milestone on the surface in the professional era.

“Obviously hardcourt has been a great surface for me over the years and 500 is a lot of matches so I’m very proud of that,” he said. “There aren’t many players that have done that, so (it’s) great to get to 500 before I’m done.”

It was just the second win in 2024 for the 36-year-old, who suffered a first-round exit at the recent Australian Open, and he has failed to go beyond the third round of a Grand Slam since reaching the Wimbledon quarters in 2017.

Murray will face either fellow veteran Gael Monfils or French fifth seed Ugo Humbert in the last 16.

Plagued by injuries over the years, the Briton has also not reached the quarter-finals at an ATP event since his final loss by Daniil Medvedev in Qatar over a year ago.

Murray, a former world No. 1 and winner of three Grand Slam titles, lost his second-round match in Qatar last week to 18-year-old Jakub Mensik, and during the defeat he appeared to shout “this game is not for me anymore”.

He played down those comments after his latest win in Dubai, but admitted that the end of his career could be near.

“People read a lot into what I say on the court sometimes and it’s not always rational,” he said.

“I still love competing, I still love the game. It gets harder and harder the older you get to compete with the young guys. It’s not easy, I probably don’t have too long left but I’ll do the best that I can these last few months.”

In January, after another first-round exit in Montpellier, Murray responded to a BBC article in which a journalist questioned whether his bravely soldering on will damage his legacy.

“Tarnishing my legacy? Do me a favour,” he responded on X.

“Most people would quit and give up in my situation right now. But I’m not most people and my mind works differently.

“I won’t quit. I will keep fighting and working to produce the performances I know I’m capable of.” – REUTERS, AFP