"Probably don't have too long left": Andy Murray drops retirement hint after defeating Denis Shapovalov

Sports Tuesday 27/February/2024 10:58 AM
"Probably don't have too long left": Andy Murray drops retirement hint after defeating Denis Shapovalov

Dubai: Former World No.1 Andy Murray scripted a fine comeback from a set down to upset Denis Shapovalov in the first round of the Dubai Tennis Championships, but said he "probably doesn't have too long left" in his career.

Murray refused to be written off and held firm for a three-set win 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-3 against Canada's Shapovalov to seal his 500th tour-level victory on a hard court.

"It's not bad. Obviously, hard court has been a great surface for me over the years and 500 is a lot of matches so I'm very proud of that. There are not many players that have done that, so great to get to 500 before I'm done," Murray said of his achievement in his on-court interview as quoted by Sky Sports.

The 36-year-old legend is anticipating his career ending in a matter of months.

"People read a lot into what I say on the court sometimes and it's not always rational. I still love competing, I still love the game. It gets harder and harder the older you get to compete with the young guys. You've got to keep your body fit and fresh," Murray said.

"It's not easy, I probably don't have too long left but I'll do the best that I can these last few months," he said.

Shapovalov won a close first set with a late break, but Murray levelled the match in the second-set tie-break at the ATP 500. He then broke the Canadian twice in the final set, completing a two-hour, 32-minute victory to grab a 2-1 lead in the pair's ATP Head2Head series.

His second-round opponent in Dubai will be one of two Frenchmen -- fifth seed Ugo Humbert or wild card Gael Monfils.

Elsewhere, Andrey Rublev rebounded from a poor start to advance to the second round in Dubai for the sixth consecutive year, defeating Zhang Zhizhen 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-4.

The second seed, who is now 5-0 in 2024 opening matches, smashed 18 aces and saved both break points to move ahead 2-0 in the pair's Lexus ATP Head2Head series after one hour and 51 minutes.