Andy Murray is “running out of time” to make this final stage of his career count with the US Open the final Grand Slam of the year, according to Barbara Schett.
The three-time Grand Slam singles champion won the US Open back in 2012 and will be looking to rediscover some form in New York once more to lift what has been another frustrating campaign.
The sight of Murray hobbling off court after losing to British compatriot Cameron Norrie in Cincinnati was not a pretty one, and he has admitted that his recurrent cramping is a “big concern”.
For Eurosport expert Schett, things are getting harder and harder for the 35-year-old as he struggles to find consistent fitness and time is certainly not on his side.
“Physically, it’s not going to get easier for Andy Murray,” Schett told Eurosport. “It’s not just the hips, those injuries he has had.
“Usually, the older you get, the bigger of a task it is to keep your body fit and healthy, and I’ve seen it numerous times that the older players, the more they are suffering with cramps, the more they are sweating.
“That seems to be a little bit of the case with Andy Murray. Also, the stress level to be able to perform because you’re running out of time, that adds to that whole situation.
“Clearly, things are not going overly well. We will never find out when Andy Murray is going to retire because he probably doesn’t know.
“But I’m sure that that beginning of the American stint, he would have liked it to have been a little bit better.
“So I’m sure he is going to review things very shortly or after the US Open, and then we just have to wait and see.”
Murray came very close to retirement from tennis at the Australian Open in 2019 when a hip injury and a tearful press conference left his career in the balance. In Cincinnati, he was again asked about his future.
“It’s a difficult one,” he said. “When I had the injury problems a few years ago and didn’t know whether I was going to be able to play, I maybe always envisaged finishing my career in the UK or whatever.
“But when I played that match against [Roberto] Bautista Agut [in the first round of the 2019 Australian Open, losing in five sets], I said to my team, if that was it and I don’t get to play again, I was more than happy with that being my last match because it was [an] amazing atmosphere, it was a great match, I fought right to the end until I could basically hardly walk, and left everything out on the court.
“For me, it would have been fine if that was how it finished. There is part of it I think when you announce that you’re retiring that I would imagine psychologically it’s quite difficult, as well. There is a lot of pressure then, I think because you want to perform and because it’s the last couple of tournaments.
“Just the whole situation puts a lot of stress on the performance. So I don’t know whether I would announce something or whether I would just stop and that would be it. I don’t know.”