It’s a sad day in tennis. Andy Murray, a two-time Wimbledon champ, announced he will retire due to agonizing hip pain. As the sports world mourns the loss, get the facts about this sports star.
“I’m not feeling good. Been struggling for a long time. I’m not sure I can play through the pain for another four or five months,” Andy Murray, 31, said when announcing his retirement during a Jan. 11 press conference, per PEOPLE. The tennis pro had been suffering from chronic hip pain for years, and it was clear he couldn’t keep playing through the agony. “I’ve been in a lot of pain for what’s been probably about 20 months now. Pretty much done everything that I could to try and get my hip feeling better and it hasn’t helped loads. I think there is a chance the Australian Open is my last tournament.”
“I can play with limitations but having the limitations and the pain is not allowing me to enjoy competing or training,” the former No. 1 player, now down to 203rd, said at the presser. “Wimbledon is where I would like to stop playing but I am not certain I am able to do that.”
The announcement sent shockwaves through the sports world. So, who is this man, for those who may not know?
1. Sports run in the family. Sir Andrew Baron Murray, OBE, was born in Glasgow, Scotland on May 15, 1987. He began playing tennis at the age of three. “My mum Judy is the current Scottish National Tennis Coach and a former professional player,” he told BBC Sport in 2004. “She took me round to the local courts and I just started playing. I’m not sure if I took to it straight away. I can’t really remember but my mum said I wasn’t very good. But hopefully starting so early is beginning to pay off now.”
2. He almost stopped playing tennis as a youngster. “I wasn’t forced to play tennis – I was given the choice. When I was nine or ten I wasn’t really enjoying playing tennis and I wanted to stop playing,” he added, noting that he took up football. Andy’s maternal grandfather, Roy Erskine, was a professional footballer in the late 1950s. Yet, tennis was his true calling and he started to take it seriously when he was 12. Tennis is grateful that he did. He’s a three-time Grand Slam winner (Wimbledon in 2013, 2016; US Open in 2012) a two-time Olympic gold medalist, and David Cup champion, winner of the 2016 ATP World Tour Finals and former No. 1.
3. He brought the glory back to the UK. In 2012, he won the US Open, becoming the first British player in 35 years to win a Grand Slam singles tournament. He’s the only British male, during the Open Era, to become a Grand Slam singles champ. He would top himself a year later by ending a 77-year drought for the United Kingdom by defeating Novak Djokovic in the finals of Wimbledon. It only took him three sets — 6-4, 7-5, and 6-4 — to put away his rival. By winning, he became the first British man to win the tournament since Fred Perry did it in 1936.
4. Andy became Britain’s youngest knight in 2017. If “Sir Andrew Baron Murray” didn’t give it away, Andy is indeed a British knight. He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2013, following his historic win at Wimbledon. He picked up a second Wimbledon victory in 2016, which resulted in him being knighted at part of the following New Year Honours. As of the time of publication, he is the youngest knight in modern times, per The Telegraph.
5. He’s married. Andy began dating Kim Sears, 31, daughter of former tennis player (and current coach) Nigel Sears, 61, in 2005. The couple was married in April 2015. They have two daughters together and live in Oxshott, Surrey. Our thoughts are with Andy and his family during this sad time as he closes this chapter of his life.