IT was hard not to be moved by the tears of Andy Murray as he used a press conference in Melbourne to reveal the pain in his hip was so severe that he would be retiring after Wimbledon.

But the 31-year-old Scot’s revelation that the Australian Open later this month could be his final tournament shows the extent to which injury has blighted his plans in recent times.

All great sportsmen and women hope to go out at the top, or at least on their own terms, but no one likes to see a career brought to an abrupt end by the demands of modern-day competition on the body.

But Murray’s two-year struggle should not distract from his incredible career. Becoming world number one, winning three major titles – two of them at Wimbledon – as well as two Olympic gold medals, would be a remarkable achievement. But the fact he achieved this whilst Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, arguably the sport’s three greatest ever players, were still at the peak of their game, makes it more impressive.

It is also easy to forget, after the decade of Murray success, that British tennis wasn’t always in such a good place. His first Wimbledon triumph in 2013 ended a 77-year wait for a British male singles champion.

Murray’s retirement will intensify the conversation about who is Britain’s greatest sportsman, and he will rightly be in the mix.

We hope that he does get his final farewell in front of an adoring home crowd in the summer, and we hope Britain doesn’t have to wait another 77 years for its next tennis superstar.