A tearful Andy Murray on Friday announced he would likely retire this year due to severe pain from a hip injury, saying next week's Australian Open could be the last tournament of a glittering career.
The former world number one and three-time Grand Slam victor pulled out of last year's Australian Open to have hip surgery and only returned in June at Queen's Club in London.
"You guys see me running around a tennis court, walking between points, I know it doesn't look good and it doesn't look comfortable", he said.
He got the season underway this year at the Brisbane International, where he won his opening match but lost in the second round to Daniil Medvedev, showing signs of limping between points and struggling to move around smoothly. "I've tried everything I could to get it right and that hasn't worked".
"I don't want to continue playing that way".
Claiming Olympic gold in 2012 at Wimbledon freed up Murray, paving the way for his maiden grand slam success at the US Open a month later - the Serb again on the other side of the net - after losing all four of his previous finals.
Murray struggled during a practice match against Novak Djokovic yesterday, which saw the Scot retire after 49 minutes with the scores set at 6-1, 4-1.
"I'm going to play, I can still play to a level, not a level that I'm happy playing at", he said. "That's where I would like to stop playing, but I'm also not certain I'm able to do that", admitted Murray, who guided Team GB to Davis Cup glory in 2015.
'I'm going to play here. But I'm also not certain I'm able to do that. "The pain is not allowing me to enjoy competing or training or any of the stuff I love about tennis".
"I'm in a better place than I was 12 months ago but I'm still in a lot of pain." . I have been playing with hip pain for a number of years, it wasn't as if it had just started at the French Open after my match against Stan.
"I've pretty much done everything that I could to try and get my hip feeling better and it hasn't helped loads", Murray said when he returned to the press room.
Murray said he was mulling another round of major hip surgery but added that it was more aimed at improving his "quality of life" and it might not mean an eventual return to the tour. "That's something I'm seriously considering right now". It would be nice to be able to do them without any pain: putting shoes on, socks on, thinks like that.
"The walking, there are certain things on the court I can not really do properly now, but the pain is the driving factor".