Exclusive – Greg Rusedski suggests Andy Murray will answer his retirement question soon

Andy Murray attends a press conference

Former British No 1 Greg Rusedski believes Andy Murray will answer all the questions over his future in the sport by the end of 2021, as he insists it is “unrealistic” to expect the Scot to challenge for major titles after so many years of injury problems.

Murray showed some encouraging signs in a second-round defeat against Wimbledon semi-finalist Hubert Hurkacz in Cincinnati last week and has opted to play the ATP 250 event at Winston-Salem this week.

Yet Rusedski has told Tennis365 at an Amazon Prime Video event that 34-year-old two-time Wimbledon champion Murray cannot expect to be in the mix at the back end of the US Open, as he suspects a decision on his future will come at the end of this year.

“You have go to look at what he has been through over the last four years,” began Rusedski, in an exclusive interview with Tennis365.

“It’s great to see him winning some matches again, but the problem is we are comparing him to the guy in 2016 and that’s not the player he is now.

“It’s phenomenal what he did to win a tournament after hip surgery in 2018 and what we saw from him in Cincinnati last week was encouraging, but to go on and win these big events at the Masters 1000 level or the US Open is unrealistic.

“It’s also disrespectful to the next generation of players coming through because players like [Daniil] Medvedev, [Stefanos] Tsitispas and [Alexander] Zverev are great players and they will start to win Grand Slams sooner rather than later.

Amazon Prime Video Greg Rusedski, Daniela Hantuchova, Catherine Whitaker
Greg Rusedski is part of Amazon Prime’s team

“For Andy to have a good run and get to the third or fourth round is a possibility, but the question is would that be enough for him to put the commitment and time into his game to reach that level? The only person who can answer that is himself.

Rusedski believes life after tennis can be fulfilling for Murray, he suggests the idea of walking away from the sport is more daunting than the reality.

“I never had the success Andy has enjoyed with two Wimbledon titles, a US Open win, two Olympic gold medals, the Davis Cup… the list goes on and on. He’s had incredible accomplishments, but it is also about finding things in life after tennis,” he added.”

“He has spoken about trying to find the same buzz that he gets from the sport, but he can run events, play exhibitions, manage players. There is so much he could do and he needs to figure that out for himself.

“[Roger] Federer has said in public many times that if he feels he can’t win the majors anymore, he doesn’t want to play.

“I worry about Andy’s health. I had injuries in my career and it is tough to keep coming back. He has four kids, a beautiful wife, a great life out there for him and he has nothing more to prove in our sport.

“My hope is that his body is fine after he concludes this adventure and if it is, then we can all look back at his amazing career and appreciate Andy for what he brought to our sport.

“Andy will get the answer he wants by the end of this year. If he can have a good run of being healthy from now to the Paris Masters, he will have his question answered.

“He’s not had a chance to play consistently over the last four years because the injuries have affected him and it must be mentally brutal trying to come back over and over again.”

The US Open is available to watch on Prime Video from Monday 30thAugust