From Metro UK
Andy Murray took a parting shot at British tennis chiefs on his way out of Melbourne Park as he prepares to go under the knife once more.
The three-time Grand Slam champion admitted he would ‘probably’ go under the knife following his Australian Open exit to Roberto Bautista Agut, a move that would almost certainly see him miss Wimbledon and perhaps end his career.
Prior to finalising that decision, the 31-year-old took aim at the Lawn Tennis Association for its failure to build upon his success, with the Scot particularly concerned by the decline in participation.
‘To get eight Brits in the main draw is not amazing but that is a decent number,’ Murray said.
‘There are quite a few players coming through that have the potential to go on and do better, but obviously you are talking about the high end of the game.
‘The thing that is more concerning from my understanding, is that participation is dropping.
‘I don’t understand how in the last eight to 10 years that participation is dropping. I don’t get it.’
Participation levels are said to have dipped in an eight-year period from 2008 to 2016, with tennis losing almost 60,000 players.
Murray described the decision to not build more indoor courts as ‘madness’, with current participants at the mercy of the unpredictable British weather.
‘I know in Scotland that there has not been many indoor courts built in the last 10 years,’ he added.
‘That seems madness. I guess those are the things that are important for the future.
‘You need to get kids playing, you need to have the facilities that allow them to do that and I am not sure Britain has really capitalised on the last seven or eight years of success that we’ve had really, whether it be myself, my brother, Jo [Konta], Kyle [Edmund], Davis Cup, those sorts of things. I’m not sure how much we’ve done there.
‘Maybe it’s something I should have given more thought to while I was playing but I never felt that was my job to do that. It is a little bit disappointing.’
Speaking on his ongoing injury struggles, Murray admitted he was leaning towards undergoing a resurfacing operation on his hip, which would likely bring an end to his career.
‘If I had got smoked [against Bautista Agut] I would have been like: “Sh*t, I don’t want that to be the last match that I play.” But because of the way the match went and actually how I finished the match, I literally couldn’t have done anymore.
‘That was my maximum. My hip was completely gone at the end of the match. I couldn’t have done any more. It was an amazing atmosphere. It was brilliant, so that would be a nice way to finish as well. I think I would be able to deal with that being my last match.
‘I would definitely play Wimbledon if I didn’t have the operation because my hip isn’t going to be much worse off after this match,” Murray said. “My hip is screwed anyway so it’s not like the match is going to make it any worse than what it is.
‘If I took a few months off and didn’t play, I could definitely get myself on the court to play Wimbledon one last time. I could be competitive. I was competitive here against a top player with very little practice and matches – and grass is a better surface for me.
‘Option B gives me the best chance of playing at Wimbledon. The first option makes my life a lot more comfortable and enjoyable, but potentially means I never play again and also miss Wimbledon. That’s what I need to decide.’