Andy Murray has lifted the lid on the mental torments associated with his attempted comeback from hip surgery.
Murray was world number one when the injury struck him in 2017.
He looked on the verge of quitting before hip resurfacing surgery gave him one last chance of squeezing more out of what has been a quite brilliant career.
However, he has understandably faltered along the way, and the scrutiny has been tough to endure.
“It’s not easy,” Andy Murray said after beating Robin Haase in Rotterdam.
“Every time I lose a match I’m getting told to retire, that I should stop playing, that I’m finished and got nothing left or whatever and it’s sad and all of these things.
“I feel like I’m playing for my career just now, each time I step on court, which is a motivation in some ways.
“But it also adds a bit of extra stress. There’s a bit of extra doubt there and on top of that I’m playing with a metal hip, which is hard. Trust me, it’s not easy.
“So it’s a big challenge for me just now and one that I’ll meet head on, but it’s not easy just now. The last few months have been a bit of a struggle.”
Murray won the European Open in Antwerp in 2019 to deliver a message that he was still very much capable of big performances.
Since then, he has struggled with niggling injuries that have undermined his comeback attempts.
“I know physically I’m in a better place that I was at then end of 2019, from all of the results I have from all of the gym work and stuff,” he said.
“When I finished in Antwerp in 2019 I felt good physically and then the next time I got on the court I had an issue with my groin and it took ages for that to get better.
“Physically I feel good right now, but you don’t know what’s round the corner and that’s the thing I’ve been more anxious and apprehensive about, more than my tennis.”
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