ATP Dubai. By defeating Shapovalov, Andy Murray is playing the “last months” of his career

The body always squeaks a little more, but the pleasure is still there. At 36, Andy Murray continues to drag his body onto courts around the world… and win, as best he can. This Monday, February 26, the two-time Wimbledon winner (2013, 2016) won against Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the first round of the ATP 500 tournament in Dubai (4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3).

The former world number 1 achieved his second victory in 2024, but above all the 500th success of his career on a hard surface. A significant statistic, because it ranks him in a very closed circle. He is the fifth player in the Open era, behind Roger Federer (783), Novak Djokovic (700), Andre Agassi (592) and Rafael Nadal (518), who has exceeded this symbolic limit.

“I probably don't have much time left”

However, the 36-year-old admitted that the effects of playing tennis on his body are getting harder to overcome. To the point where he suggested his retirement was imminent. “I probably don't have much time left, but I will do my best in the last few months,” he said after the match. I still love to compete and I still love the game, but it gets harder and harder to compete as you get older, to keep your body fit and fresh. »

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This is not the first time that Andy Murray has persistently spoken about the end of his career. Already five years ago, during the Australian Open 2019, the Brit burst into tears, admitting that this tournament could be his last due to persistent hip pain. But Andy Murray gritted his teeth, underwent surgery, recovered as best he could and let his passion for tennis lead him to continue to be on the courts in 2024.

In the second round of the tournament in Dubai, Andy Murray will challenge the winner of the fratricidal duel between France's Hugo Humbert, the fifth seed, and Gaël Monfils, invited by the organization. In order to continue a season that looks more and more like the last dance.

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