Andy Murray drops major retirement hint after 500th hardcourt win

The Briton is a three-time Grand Slam winner

By Web Desk
February 27, 2024
Andy Murray has won three Grand Slams in his career. — Reuters

Andy Murray hinted that this season could mark his final stint in professional tennis, following his milestone 500th hardcourt victory with a hard-fought 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 triumph over Canada’s Denis Shapovalov in the opening round of the Dubai Tennis Championships on February 26.

Joining the ranks of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andre Agassi, and Rafael Nadal, Murray became one of the select few players to reach the 500th tour-level win milestone on the hardcourt 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.”

This victory marked only the second win of 2024 for the 36-year-old, who experienced an early exit at the Australian Open. Additionally, he has not progressed beyond the third round of a Grand Slam event since reaching the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2017.

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

Struggling with injuries, the British tennis star also failed to advance to the quarter-finals at an ATP event since his final loss to Daniil Medvedev in Qatar over a year ago.

Despite losing his second-round match in Qatar last week to 18-year-old Jakub Mensik, during which he appeared to express doubt about his future in the sport, Murray downplayed those comments after his recent victory in Dubai. However, he conceded that retirement might be on the horizon.

“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, following another first-round exit in Montpellier, Murray responded to a BBC article in which a journalist questioned whether his continued perseverance would tarnish 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.”