Andy Murray has left the tennis world questioning if the three-time grand slam could be calling it quits soon after announcing he will skip the entire clay court season to prepare for a push at Wimbledon.
Murray, who won Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016, said he didn't want to take any chances during the clay court swing even though it will mean he will be off the main ATP Tour for more than two months ahead of SW19.
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The Scot was knocked out of the Australian Open in the second round against World No.111 Taro Daniel in another tough loss to accept for the former finalist.
Since his two hip surgeries, which has taken a toll on his career, Murray has remained adamant he could return to the top and compete for grand slams.
However, the 33-year-old is clearly prioritising a wildcard entry for Wimbledon in what remains to be seen if it will be the last grand slam in London of his career.
"Right now I am not planning on playing through the clay," Murray said at the Rotterdam Open.
"The past couple of years, the clay has made issues worse, last year I had some issues at the beginning of the year, the clay didn't help, so I've spoken to my team about that and this year while I feel good and healthy, I don't want to take that risk.
"It's not that I wouldn't potentially play on clay in the future, last year I almost missed Wimbledon, was close to not playing the grass season, I'm not planning on playing the clay, I will still try to compete a bit during that period, I won't do nothing, that's my plan just now.
"I had a busy end of last year and hopefully the next couple of months, I won't take any risks and hopefully get a good build up to the grass season."
Tennis fans react to Andy Murray decision
Murray's decision to skip Roland Garros appears to make sense considering he made the final in 2016, but has struggled since.
The three-week turnaround from Roland Garros to Wimbledon appears to be too risky for the Scot.
Fans took to social media and mostly agreed it was a good decision for Murray to avoid the clay court season ahead of Wimbledon.
Interesting decision from Andy Murray - skipping the clay court season and Roland Garros.
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) February 6, 2022
I decided early in my career, I could not play all segments of the tour and remain physically and mentally healthy. I skipped European Clay court season to remain fresh for the grass, my best surface. Wimbledon is Andy’s best major surface for a deep run.
— Pam Shriver (@PHShriver) February 6, 2022
Not surprised. Clay hardest surface for his hip - grass is more comfortable.
— Eileen Moore 🇮🇪 (@Elaineheyworth) February 6, 2022
😢Andy Murray is likely to miss Roland Garros after choosing to skip the clay-court season to be on the safe side for #Wimbledon
The best result on RG so far is 2016 when Andy Murray beat Stan Wawrinka to reach the French Open final where lost to Djokovic pic.twitter.com/Ekmd6kMGoU
— Mariia🤍 (@MariiaTheNet) February 6, 2022
This is seeming like a farewell to his career in 🎾😭. & @Wimbledon this year will be his last tournament. It would be place to finish up at. If it is the case, he better have the biggest send off ever. He’s done so much for 🇬🇧 Tennis. As he won it not once, but twice!! 👏
— Rose Jenyon (@RoseJenyon) February 6, 2022
A sensible decision for @andy_murray Looking forward to seeing Andy on the grass courts. Good luck
— saintee123 (@saintee123) February 6, 2022
Absolutely the right thing to do.
— Keith Erskine (@erskkbo) February 6, 2022
Andy’s Swan Song I’m afraid. 🇬🇧🎾
— Bart Kosen (@bart_kosen) February 6, 2022
— TENNISMEDIA (@luciahoff) February 6, 2022
Murray did signal his intention to play another Australian Open, but said it would depened on results over the course of 2022.
Before Murray's decision, tennis favourite Juan Del Potro is set to retire from the game.
Del Potro is set to announce his retirement after he plays at the Argentina Open in Buenos Aires, his first tournament since fracturing his kneecap in June 2019 at Queen's in London.
The former World No.3 has undergone four surgeries on his knee for that injury while slipping to 757 in the world rankings.
The 33-year-old, who beat Roger Federer in the 2009 US Open final, said his knee troubles had him "living a nightmare".
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