Andy Murray will not have wanted”to be creating the numbers” because he considered his future, says that his former Davis Cup teammate Tim Henman.
And the 31-year-old Scot says the next week’s Australian Open could be the last tournament of his career.
“It is sad news, but it will not detract from what an unbelievable career he has received,” Henman told BBC Sport.
Former Wimbledon semi-finalist Henman, that is friends with Murray because the Scot was an adolescent, was among many former fans and players that offer their best wishes following the announcement at Melbourne on Friday.
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The two-time Olympic champion, who will play what might be his final ever match at approximately 07:00 GMT on Monday against Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, says he has been in”serious pain” because he attempts to go back following surgery on his right hip one year ago.
The operation came later he took off six months court following his 20 17 Wimbledon quarter final defeat by Sam Querrey at a bid to take care of the issue.
Murray, who won Wimbledon at 2013 and 2016, says he wishes to play with at the All England Club this summer before slumping, however, admits that may possibly not be possible.
“It has been heading in this direction,” said Henman, who was substituted as British number one by Murray at 2006.
“I understand how hard he was working – I’ve been able to speak to him at various times and I’m near to Jamie Delgado [Murray’s trainer ].
“Together with the volume of work he has put in, also we understand how professional and diligent he could be, 20 weeks is a very long moment.
“And with the nature of the accident there certainly were a large amount of people who said this will take place at some stage.
“He’ll have ticked every box to give himself the ideal opportunity to play with pain free at the maximum level again.
“But the fact is he will not be in a position to do that. In professional tennis cases he has seen there’s not any fix with this hip issue.”
In addition to adding the 2013 and 2016 Wimbledon titles for his 2012 US Open triumph, Murray finished runner-up in eight additional Grand Slam finals, won the 20-16 ATP Tour finals and guided the uk into the 2015 Davis Cup.
“When you examine the set of his achievements, you’ll find no greater goals you are able to achieve in our sport,” Henman added.
“His development, by someone who joined at the Davis Cup as a 16-year-old, and how his match has improved and how he has matured physically and mentality, was incredible to see.
“I understand he will soon be tremendously happy with the achievements even though he is going to be disappointed right now.”
Henman, that reached four in the world, also fought with injury in the last stages of his career – but over a much shorter period than Murray.
“I was very lucky in regards into my retirement and it surely happened in the space of seven or seven weeks where I was fighting with numerous unique elements,” he explained.
“My spine wasn’t brilliant at that stage. But also my form, the degree of drama I was playing with at, wasn’t the place I wanted, ” I wasn’t improving.
“of course if you’re not improving, your standing will go one way and I believed I was playing tournaments to win those championships.
“Following Wimbledon at 2007 I started to the American hard court swing and felt for the very first time I was creating the amounts.
“I believed that wasn’t what my career was around and that I think Andy has said similar things.
“He feels they can play with a decent degree but if he was arguing for Grand Slam titles and number one positions he doesn’t wish to be there creating the amounts “