Former world number one Andy Murray shocked the tennis world on Friday when he announced he will retire from the game in 2019, but is hoping to at least play on until Wimbledon in July before calling time on his career.

The Scot, who has struggled with a hip injury for over a year, revealed during a press conference in Melbourne, Australia, that he has not fully recovered from the injury and he “has been struggling” for a long time.

Murray broke down during his address and needed to step away from the room to compose himself. He returned to reveal his recent struggle with the injury but admitting he was in a better place than “six months ago”.

However, the three-time Grand Slam champion revealed that he has been in a lot of pain in recent months. A decision about calling time on his career was made after a discussion with his team when it became clear that there was no point in playing with the pain as it would not allow him to compete at the desired level.

Andy Murray Andy Murray announced he will retire from tennis in 2019. In this picture, Murray of Great Britain speaks during a press conference ahead of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia, Jan. 11, 2019. Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

“I’ve been struggling for a long time. I have been in a lot of pain for probably about 20 months now. I have pretty much done everything that I could to try and get my hip feeling better. It hasn’t helped loads. I’m in a better place than I was six months ago, but still in a lot of pain. It has been tough,” Murray said.

“In the middle to the end of December in my training block, I spoke to my team, and I told them, ‘I cannot keep doing this.’ I needed to have an end point because I was playing with no idea when the pain was going to stop. I felt like making that decision. I said to my team, ‘Look, I think I can get through this until Wimbledon. That’s where I would like to stop playing.’ But I am not certain I am able to do that,” he added.

Murray, however, was only hoping he can continue playing until Wimbledon, his home event, but admitted that the Australian Open could also well be his last. He is unsure if he can play through the pain for another “four to five months.”

"There’s a chance of that, for sure,” Murray said when asked if the Australian Open where he has lost in the summit clash on five occasions could be his last. “I am not sure I am able to play through the pain for another four or five months.”

American tennis great Andy Roddick led the tributes after Murray announced his decision – the Scot is a player who is well respected by his peers and the media. 

Murray has also been a vocal advocate to promote the women's game and is one of the few male players to demand equal pay for women in all events and not just the Grand Slams. He has also taken a hard stance on the sexism that is prevalent in the game - calling out a number of people over comments made against women's tennis or individual players.