Sir Andy Murray has gone to great lengths to ensure that he can finish his career on his terms by fighting the chronic hip problem that has caused him so much pain and frustration over the last few years.
The Scot had explored almost all of the options available to him in order to get back onto the tennis court but eventually settled on what is known as a ‘hip resurfacing’ procedure.
Mercifully for Murray, it was the right call and since going under the knife, the Scot has made a slow but undoubtedly steady return to the level that he was once at. Reaching the quarter-finals of the 21st China Open was another step in the right direction for the 32-year-old, but this miraculous recovery hasn’t come without paying a price, the Scot has revealed.
Look who's back! Down a break in the first set, facing two set points in the second set: Andy Murray still prevails over Matteo Berrettini (7-6(2), 7-6(9). He'll face Cameron Norrie next. Superb match from the former World n°1! pic.twitter.com/TQo2RB5fvH
— China Open (@ChinaOpen) October 1, 2019
In a frank admission, Murray divulged that he wouldn’t be able to avoid a complete hip replacement in the next ‘20 or so years.’ According to the three-time Grand Slam champion, it is not possible to have your hip resurfaced for a second time with the only option after that being a full hip replacement.
Whilst it's relatively common knowledge that hip surgery has come on leaps and bounds over the last twenty years, especially the amount of time spent recovering, it is still a procedure that has the potential to bring your life to a standstill.
In Murray’s case; a professional tennis player who is going at it hammer-and-tong to get back to tennis’ top table, the return of that unbearable pain will be something that plays on his mind given how much he is pushing his body now.
Obviously though, when the time comes for the operation to happen, Murray would have been retired for many years and won’t delay getting it seen to when the pain returns.
We often hear about sacrifices that have to be made in professional sport to be the best, and even if Murray has proved in the past that he is more than good enough to mix it with the best in the world, he is once again showing an unwavering commitment to the cause to do so. It’s sort of a second-coming for the Scot and given that the world of sport likes nothing more than a fairytale story, he will have a great deal of support as he attempts to win another Grand Slam.
Murray's first shot at pulling off the impossible will be at next year’s Australian Open when he makes his return to Grand Slam singles action. At 20/1 to win in the latest tennis odds, it does look a bridge too far at this stage to go all the way down under and win the final at the Rod Laver Arena. Then again, sport does produce the most unimaginable storylines.
“I think that in some ways that it's one of the best wins that I've had...You don't necessarily appreciate what it's like to be healthy at the beginning of your career. It’s something that you take for granted." - @andy_murray #ZhuhaiChampionships pic.twitter.com/zNRzTIrNja
— ATP Tour (@atptour) September 24, 2019
You never quite know quite what will happen; but seeing how well the Big Three are doing at the moment, the size of the task at hand for the 32-year-old can't be underestimated.
What is a certainty is that no one will begrudge Andy Murray the opportunity to win another Grand Slam after the back-breaking lengths he has gone to in order to put his name back into the hat.