Just three days before the start of the Australian Open, the tournament was hit with stunning news that Andy Murray will retire after Wimbledon and the Brit left open the possibility of leaving the game after his fortnight in Melbourne ends.
The 31-year old is recovering from hip surgery that limited him to 14 matches in 2018. A five-time finalist at the year's first major, Murray will face 22nd seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round at Melbourne Park in his farewell in Australia.
Murray reveals when decision was made
The three-time major champion said that the decision to walk away from the sport was made back in December during off-season training. "In the middle to the end of December in my training block, I spoke to my team, and I told them 'I cannot keep doing this'.
"I needed to have an end point because I was sort of playing with no idea when the pain was going to stop. I felt like making that decision. I said to my team, 'look, I think I can get through this until Wimbledon That's where I would like to stop playing. But I am also not certain I am able to do that".
Brit leaves open possibility of finishing career in Melbourne
When asked if the Australian Open could be his final tournament, Murray wiped away tears and stated "There's a chance of that, for sure. Yeah, like I said, I am not sure I am able to play through the pain for another four or five months".
He also spoke about the physical limitations he feels, saying I can play with limitations , that's not an issue. It's having the limitations and also the pain is not allowing me to enjoy competing, training or any of the stuff I love about tennis".
Murray says he's been "struggling for a long time" with hip pain
After a practice session with Novak Djokovic, the two-time Olympic champion and winner of 76 career titles said "obviously i've struggling for a long time. I have been in a lot of pain. Well, it's probably been about 20 months now.
"I have pretty much I have done everything I could to try and get my hip feeling better, and it hasn't helped loads. I'm in a better place than I was six months ago, but still in a lot of pain. Yeah, it has been tough".
After losing 6-1, 4-1 to Djokovic in their practice session, Murray said "I can still play to a level ---not a level that i'm happy playing at. It's not just that: the pain is too much, really. I don't want to continue playing that way.
"I think I have tried pretty much everything I could to get it right, and that hasn't worked".
Former world number one talks of emotional toll injury has taken
"I have talked a lot, way too much, about my hip for 18 months", Murray said. "It's a daily thing. It isn't just people I work with that ask me; it's everyone. So everyone I bump into, that is all I talk about. It's pretty draining".
He said he spoke to a number of psychologists about his injury. "But nothing helps because you are in lots, lots and lots of pain. You cannot do what it is that you want to do, and you love doing. Or I can do it, but it's not fun or enjoyable doing it anymore.
"That is what I have done. I have tried to deal with it, talked about it, but none of that makes my hip feel better, unfortunately. I wish it did, because if it did, it would be feeling brilliant right now. But it doesn't".