Let me preface this by saying I have never played, nor will I ever play professional sport. I won't reach the heights of sporting stardom at which Andy Murray has been at for the better part of a decade.

However, Murray has reached a fork in the road with two clear-cut choices, one being the obvious solution: Andy Murray must retire from top flight tennis.

This is the same conundrum New Zealand debated when we decided All Blacks back Ryan Crotty had been bopped on the head one too many times.

At what point do our sports stars stop and see sense. At what point do they say, 'Enough is enough, I will bow out now before I do irreversible damage, which will impact my quality of life after sport'.


On one hand, I do want Murray to retire. From someone who's seen the effects 10-15 years of professional sport have on the mind and body, it's not hard to see what athletes' priorities should be.

However, on the other, I think we can all recognise that it must be a bloody hard decision.

Sportspeople like Murray have devoted their life to a single sport, facing the criticism from cynics like yours truly and have been through what most can't begin to understand.

You may say that there is more to life than sport, but if you stop doing what you love to make sure you can enjoy life 30 years down the track, are you really enjoying life?

It's a question with no easy answer and one that I'd bet Murray is struggling with at the moment.

If we look at his health right now, it's not a pretty picture. Anyone who saw his brutal five set defeat to Roberto Bautista Agut would know Murray is not right.

When a male tennis player is making more noise than Maria Sharapova, you know something has to be wrong.

Murray says he struggles to put his socks on and walk his dog because of the pain in his hip. He says extensive surgery has a chance of bringing him back to full fitness, but I doubt it.


American doubles legend Bob Bryan had a similar operation in 2018 and has returned to partner his brother and continue their dominance of the doubles game, but it's not the same thing.

Singles is a far less-forgiving format, which can push your physical limits as far as any other code.

The way he groaned and moved desperately to reach Agut's shots makes it hard to believe he could ever return to his previous form, let alone ensure his body holds up for the next few decades.

Now is the right time for Murray to fade from tennis. If it isn't the farewell video played after his Australian open first round exit, which seemed more like an obituary rather than a career celebration, the young talent on show should be enough for him to call it a day.

Tennis pundits with more grey hairs than I have predicted 2019 will be the year of the youngsters.

The 'Big Four' of Djokovic, Federer, Nadal and Murray have players nipping at their heels, looking for slams. Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas are among the names being bandied about as the next big things in tennis.

I believe Djokovic still has a few good years in him while Federer and Nadal seem to be quite happy chugging along, picking up a slam every year, two if they are lucky.

This may last for the next five years but after that, it seems open season will begin as to who will be our next star.

And it would be nice to have some partially good news coming from tennis. It seems Australians have a plan to desecrate their reputation in all sports, starting with cricket and now tennis. It will be Tennis Australia's turn for an extensive review after Tomic and Hewitt have decided to go at each other's throats.

To see a great, gracefully bow out from the game would be a refreshing change from the hateful Aussie twang dominating the airwaves.

In this moment in time, I am reminded of Andre Agassi and I don't want to see another Agassi. While his book is one of the better sporting accounts out there, the man was in agony and while his hatred for the game came from his youth, Agassi's regard for his game was a sad state of affairs.

I don't want Murray to hate tennis. He should and will be regarded as one of tennis' great servants and one the British will always claim as their own.

It would be a shame to see him leave the game, but an even greater shame to see him at 50, with no socks and an un-walked dog, regretting that he put tennis over the rest of his life.