Andy Murray says he “no longer needs tennis” after making a stunning comeback in the singles game despite a harrowing injury rehabilitation process throughout 2019.
The two-time Wimbledon champion had been suffering with serious hip pain before undergoing potentially career-ending surgery to correct the issues.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com ahead of the launch of new Amazon Prime documentary, Andy Murray: Resurfacing, which details his painful rehab process, he spoke of his retirement fears and what life could look like after tennis.
He said: “Sport does a terrible job of preparing athletes for their post-playing career.
“In the last couple of years I was really worried about having to stop because I’ve never done anything else than play tennis.
“I would have been one of those athletes who was very concerned about what I would do when I finished playing and what my life would look like.
“But a few months after I had that operation I realised I didn’t need tennis any more.
“It’s great that I can still play, but I didn’t need it – that was really important for me.
“When I wasn’t in pain any more and I was pretty mobile and able to do normal things with my kids, play golf, walk the dogs without any pain – that was enough.
“Now I’m not worried about it, I just wish I was better prepared in the last couple of years because it probably would have made it a bit easier that if I had to stop, I would’ve been fine.
“I know that everything will work out when I do finish now.”
However, Murray has defied the odds and has no imminent plans to call it a day, with his place at the 2020 Australian Open already confirmed.
Cameras followed Murray throughout a comeback process which culminated in winning the European Open in Antwerp last month.
He admitted the documentary isn’t what he expected at the start, but hopes the all-access approach is interesting for fans, despite being difficult for him to watch.
He said: “The movie changed from what I was expecting at the beginning – I didn’t expect it to turn out the way it did.
“I thought I was going to have the first operation, rehab for a few months and then be back competing again.
“I was thinking it would be interesting to see an athlete rehabbing from an injury that had been causing them an issue for a while and then return to play. Then it turned into something completely different.
“I watched a video of the operation being done on someone before I had it done myself and it was important for me to do that because when I watched that I was like ‘this might not go well… I might not get back to playing…’ I needed to be in that headspace before I went ahead with the operation.
“In terms of letting people see that, I hope it made it a more interesting film for people.
“That’s also why it was difficult for me to watch, because I was pretty open in it, and at times, pretty vulnerable as well. It’s difficult to watch yourself like that.”
Andy Murray: Resurfacing launches exclusively on Prime Video Friday 29th November