World number one Andy Murray has revealed he may only have another “couple of years” playing at the top of the sport.
The 30-year-old Scot, who reached the semi-finals at the French Open last week before losing a five-setter to Stan Wawrinka, says he will “make the most of every tournament” while he is still competitive.
Murray arrived at Roland Garros with only four victories since February and is now preparing for the defence of his title at Queen’s Club before turning his attention to Wimbledon and the pursuit of a third trophy.
He told BBC Sport: “My coach, Ivan Lendl, was still competitive at the top until he was about 32 but, generally, over the past 20 to 30 years, normally by early 30s is when players have struggled to stay at the top.
“I know some of the players have been doing really well until their mid-30s recently, but that might not be the case with me. Maybe the next couple of years are the last few where I have a chance to compete for the majors and the biggest tournaments.”
The three-times major winner, who was knighted in the New Year Honours, believes injuries understandably begin taking their toll on players due to the tough nature of the game.
He added: “Most of the players are travelling with physios now, spending a lot more time working in the gym to protect their bodies from the kind of pounding you give it on the court as well. I think some of that explains it.
“I don’t know how long I’m going to be playing for any more. I want to make the most of every tournament I compete in.
“If I’m going to be away from my family, I’m not going to do that and not do my best. (I’ll) Be totally professional and take every tournament as seriously as I can.
“I’ll continue to play and so long as my body is fine, I would like to hope that I would continue to do that whilst I’m still enjoying it.”
Provided by Press Association
Petra Kvitova will make a “last-minute decision” whether to compete in the French Open as she prepares a comeback five months after her playing hand was badly injured in a knife attack, her spokesman said on Tuesday.
The two-time Wimbledon champion suffered career-threatening injuries to her left hand as she fought off a knife-wielding intruder at her home in the eastern Czech town of Prostejov in December.
The draw for the French Open will take place on Friday and Kvitova’s spokesman Karel Tejkal said the Czech star could still make the May 28-June 11 Grand Slam.
“It’s not by chance that her name is still on the entry list for Roland Garros. The decision will be taken at the last minute,” Tejkal said.
Petra Kvitova will have a press conference in Paris on Friday where she will announce if she plays French Open.— Jana (@JustJanie_) May 23, 2017
“We can already say it out loud — her long-term goal is to be fit enough to compete in Wimbledon.”
The 27-year-old Kvitova won Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014. This year’s event at the All England club starts on July 3.
Doctors had said the Czech player would not be able to return to competition before the second half of the year.
But Kvitova returned to training early in May and she was included on the entry list for the French Open.
“This unfortunately does not mean necessarily that I will be ready to play in Paris, but that I’m doing everything possible to give myself the chance and keep a positive mindset,” Kvitova said at the time.
Novak Djokovic overcame having to play twice in a day before cruising into the final of the Rome Masters with a ruthless 6-1, 6-0 win over Dominic Thiem on Saturday.
Djokovic, the former four-time champion, was forced to finish his quarter-final over Juan Martin del Potro earlier in the day after their match was rained off late on Friday.
But the setback seemed only to inspire the 30-year-old Serbian second seed, as he set up what is expected to be a mouthwatering final, and first meeting, with Germany’s Alexander Zverev.
“It was my best performance of the year,” said Djokovic after his 59-minute win over Thiem who had knocked out Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals.
Zverev, 20, became the youngest player in a decade to reach a Masters final when he clinched a gutsy 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-1 win over big-serving American John Isner.
Djokovic was the previous youngest Masters finalist, going all the way to the title in Miami as a 19-year-old in 2007.
Zverev will climb to a new career high in the rankings at number 14 by reaching the final and would break into the top 10 with the title.
“I don’t look at these kind of stats, who is the youngest player to have a Masters 1000 title or things like this. I try to play match by match and try to improve,” said Zverev, who fired 12 aces and 41 winners past the 32-year-old Isner.
Thiem, beaten to the Madrid Masters title by Nadal last week, avenged his loss by dumping Spain’s former seven-time Rome champion out in the quarters on Friday.
But the Austrian’s dream run was quickly brought to an end by a clinical Djokovic on Saturday as the Serbian took his record to 5-0 against the 23-year-old.
Provided by AFP