Andy Murray says he is yet to decide how he will announce his retirement from tennis, admitting he "doesn't know" whether he would do so at all.
Whilst there is no suggestion the Scot's announcement is imminent, the 'r' word has been in the air all week at the Cincinnati Open with the impending departure from tennis of Serena Williams, who said earlier this month that she had decided to "evolve away" from the game.
Murray lost his all-British clash with Cameron Norrie at the tournament on Wednesday, and though he was to many observers the better player tennis-wise, once again his body let him down as he cramped late on, and he had to be helped from the court at the finish.
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And that prompted a question on Murray's future during his post-match press conference, which he responded openly to, citing his previous 'retirement' from the game in 2019 when it looked like he was on the verge of hanging up his racket.
“It’s a difficult one," the 35-year-old said.
"When I had the injury problems a few years ago and didn’t know whether I was going to be able to play, I maybe always envisaged finishing my career in the UK or whatever.
"But when I played that match against [Roberto] Bautista Agut [in the first round of the 2019 Australian Open, losing in five sets], I said to my team, if that was it and I don’t get to play again, I was more than happy with that being my last match, because it was [an] amazing atmosphere, it was a great match, I fought right to the end until I could basically hardly walk at the end, and left everything out on the court.
"For me, it would have been fine if that was how it finished.

Andy Murray of Great Britain limps off court after receiving treatment after his loss against Cameron Norrie of Great Britain in the second round of the men's singles at the Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 17, 2022 in Mason, Ohio.

Image credit: Getty Images

"There is part of it I think when you announce that you’re retiring that I would imagine psychologically it’s quite difficult, as well. There is a lot of pressure then, I think because you want to perform and because it’s the last couple of tournaments.
"Just the whole situation puts a lot of stress on the performance.
"So I don’t know whether I would announce something or whether I would just stop and that would be it. I don’t know.”
Murray also revealed the extent to which he is flummoxed by his recurring cramping, which happened at the end of the third set against Norrie, following around two-and-a-half hours of play, and which has dogged him throughout the US hard court season.
“I think pretty much every tennis player in their career has cramped usually in these sorts of conditions that we have had [in Cincinnati]," Murray said.
“But the consistency of it for me is a big concern. It’s not something that I have really experienced. I have experienced cramping but not consistently over a number of tournaments.
“It's not easy to play when it gets bad like it was at the end. I feel like it had an impact on the end of the match.
"I’m not saying whether I would for sure win the match or not, but it certainly affected the way that I played a little bit right at the end from the middle of that set.
"It’s a big concern for me, that, and something that I need to address and find a solution for.
"No one knows exactly why cramps happen. There are many reasons, whether it’s hydration, whether it’s the food that you have taken in, whether it’s fatigue and lack of conditioning, stress.
"I need to try and understand what’s going on there.”
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