Andy Murray lifts lid on injury, struggles with depression, and rekindled hope for the future
Andy Murray has opened up about his injury and the psychological challenges of coming to terms with it in a revealing new interview.
The three-time Grand Slam winner has struggled with a hip injury for almost two years now, and still doesn’t know whether he will ever be able to return to competitive tennis.
His initial attempts to overcome the injury ended in a tearful admission at this year’s Australian Open that his career was probably over.
Since then, he has underwent revolutionary hip resurfacing surgery, rekindling hope of a return.
Whether that hope will ever be fulfilled remains to be seen, but Murray seems to be in a much healthier place, mentally, than he was back in Melbourne at the start of the year.
“I’ve spoken to sports psychologists and stuff,” he told The Telegraph.
“I don’t know exactly what depression feels like, but I was definitely very low, and at different stages feeling quite lost.
“I didn’t really know what to do with myself. I had always thought that if I could just play tennis, it would make me happy.
“But I was getting no enjoyment out of playing at all because it hurt. I’d win some matches, but I wasn’t getting any joy out of that.
“In fact, it was almost making me more upset because my hip hurt the more tennis I played.”
Murray was world number one when he succumbed the injury and took some time away from tennis to seek a remedy, and he admits the prospect of losing the sport he loved was a frightening proposition.
Time, though, seems to have helped him come to terms with that potential loss.
“When this injury came about, I was like, “Oh my God, what am I going to do?”
“I was really upset I might not be able to play tennis again, and at what level.
“Whereas now I don’t have that feeling at all. If I can’t… I mean, if it doesn’t happen, I’m fine.
“You’re just living in that moment of trying to bear that pain. And it takes a toll on everybody around you – my team, and obviously my family, have seen me struggling for such a long time.
“In the last few weeks since I’ve been able to start walking and running and doing those things, I have realised what is important.
“And now I realise I don’t need tennis. I don’t need tennis to be happy any more. I’m very happy right now.”
‘Obviously playing tennis was very painful,’ he said.
‘But even things like going out in the garden and trying to run around with my kids, or just going for a walk with them, my hip was always on my mind because every single step I took was painful. It was just consuming me the whole time. I don’t think I realised just how much it was affecting me, and my general well-being and happiness, until recently.
‘Even sitting at the dinner table, my hip was aching. Throbbing. It was always there – even when I was sleeping. It just wasn’t fun. There weren’t many things I could do that were enjoyable.’
‘I would go in the ice bath, which would make it feel a little bit better for 15 or 20 minutes,’ he said.
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