Andy Murray opens up to Ben Foster on his tennis future and past retirement fears

Andy Murray discusses his tennis future aged just 14

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Andy Murray has pledged to “keep playing as long as I’m enjoying it” after opening up on how close he came to retiring from the sport. Murray, 35, continued his preparations for this summer’s Wimbledon on Friday by beating Brandon Nakashima in the Surbiton Trophy, setting up a semi final clash with Denis Kudla.

The three-time Grand Slam champion exited at the second round stage of the Australian Open earlier this year, after which he admitted he would consider quitting the sport if he could no longer compete well in major tournaments. But having skipped the French Open in order to enhance his grass-court preparations, the Scot is clearly targeting a good run at SW19.

And now he’s signalled his future intentions, as well as outlining how close his hip problems came to ending his career, in an interview with former Watford and England goalkeeper Ben Foster. The Amazon Prime Video footage, which the company released on Twitter, shows Foster asking his guest: “So what’s next for Andy Murray?”

He added: “Have you got to the stage where you’ve had to actually start thinking about what you’re going to do next?” Murray responded by rewinding back four years, prior to his first hip operation: “I had to contemplate retirement,” he conceded. 

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“I told my team in the off season like, look, I’m done. I called my wife, I said ‘I don’t want to play anymore – I’m not enjoying this’. I was miserable away from the court as well because of the pain and I was like, I don’t want to do this anymore.”

Although his surgery proved a success, Murray said he still had doubts over returning as he didn’t know if he was going to be competitive, but insisted he now feels “good” with no timescale on when he’ll walk away: “Whilst I’m still competing at the top of the game, I’m keep going,” he said. “If I was to have a fairytale run at one of the major events then maybe I’d consider stopping on that.

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“But I’ve played tennis my whole life it has been a huge, huge part of me for 30 years. And I want to keep playing as long as I’m enjoying it.”

Foster’s own future is a little less certain, having left Watford following the club’s relegation from the Premier League this season. The 39-year-old is currently out of contract.

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