Andy Murray
Andy Murray revealed he may only have months left in his tennis career after advancing to the second round of the 2024 Dubai Open. Suhaib Salem/Reuters

Andy Murray could be embarking on the final moments of his career as he revealed he does not expect to play for much longer.

The Scotsman's comments came after he beat Denis Shapovalov in his opening round match at the 2024 Dubai Open on Monday. He managed to beat his Canadian opponent 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 and now has two wins to his name for the calendar year.

He will now face fifth seed, Ugo Humbert, in his second-round matchup on Wednesday.

It was a landmark victory for the 36-year-old as he has now racked up 500 hard-court victories and in doing so becomes just the fifth male player to achieve the feat in the Open Era. Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andre Agassi and Rafael Nadal have also reached the landmark figure.

Murray spoke on his achievement after beating Shapovalov, saying: "Hard courts have been a great surface for me over the years and 500 is a lot of matches. So yeah, I'm very proud of that. It's great to get that before I'm done."

The achievement comes amidst a difficult start to the year for Murray as he has lost five of his seven singles matches in 2024. This included a first-round exit at the year's inaugural Grand Slam, the Australian Open.

Murray has spoken out on his struggles on the court recently as he was down beat after his exit in Melbourne and was seen to be questioning his future last week during his second-round exit at the Qatar Open.

At the same time, Murray has vowed to battle on and even suggested he could drop down to play in the ATP Challenger Tour if necessary. The Scotsman has also shot down suggestions from the press that he should retire from playing.

Whilst Murray still does have a passion for playing tennis, he is realistic about his future in the sport. After his first-round win at the Dubai Open, he commented: "I probably don't have too long left, but I'll do as best as I can these last few months. I still love competing and still love the game, but it gets harder to compete the older you get, to keep your body fit and fresh."

The comments from the three-time Grand Slam champion suggest 2024 could very well be his last year competing on the ATP Tour.

Much to do with Murray's decline on the court in recent years is a long-running hip problem, that led to him first getting arthroscopic surgery to deal with the injury in 2018. Not long after, the injury was still troubling him and he continued to feel pain, causing him to hint at retirement as far back as the 2019 Australian Open.

Murray received further treatment on the injury in 2019 as he underwent hip resurfacing surgery, which involved metal being implemented into his body. The player has also suffered from pelvic and groin injuries since his hip struggles.

Even though the hip problem is not side-lining Murray at the moment and he is still able to play right now, the surgeries in recent years coupled with him reaching the latter stages of his career has likely drained him physically and significantly weakened him.

This has led to him not moving freely on the court in the same manner he was able to prior to the hip issues and means it is a massive struggle for him to keep up when playing the other players on tour.

The hip injury has ultimately plagued Murray for much of his career and has been the overwhelming factor in retirement regularly appearing on the horizon for the player. If the upcoming months are to be the last of Murray's career, he will likely want to have a final injury-free run at Wimbledon this summer, with it being the site of two of his Grand Slam triumphs.

Hip problems have not only derailed Murray's career, but also Nadal's, as it caused the Spaniard to miss the majority of 2023 and has prevented him from being active on the court this year.