Scottish tennis legend Andy Murray has a new outlook on life, tennis, and his future, saying that he no longer needs the sport to be happy.
In a recent interview with The Telegraph, Murray, who was recently knighted, said that after playing for years in pain, he feels comfortable saying that it would be okay with him if he never played professional tennis again. Murray has been battling a hip injury that seems to have never healed for years, and in the last year or so, even daily life has become "excruciating."
"Obviously playing tennis was very painful. But even things like going out in the garden and trying to run around with my kids, or just going for a walk with them, my hip was always on my mind because every single step I took was painful."Murray said that even when he would sit down at the dinner table, it was difficult to think of anything else other than the pain in his hip. He said that his whole life had become thinking about ways that he could alleviate the pain. The Grand Slam winner said he would go from an ice bath, which would make him feel better for 20 minutes, to racking his brain to think of anything else he could try. But Murray says he now has a new perspective because he realized that he had been "living and breathing tennis" since the age of 3, and now he wants to do the same with his family. Murray has two girls, Edie, 1, and Sophia, 3, and he doesn't want to miss their childhoods due to playing professional tennis.
Murray was also interested in discussing feminism in the interview, saying that as the father of two daughters, it's important to him that his girls have all the same opportunities in life as if they were boys. In 2014, Murray hired Amélie Mauresmo, a female coach, to work with him, and he was taunted and criticized for this. He blames ongoing sexism in the sport, calling it the dark side of tennis.
He said that the hardest part was when another male tennis player, someone he considered a friend, confronted him about hiring a female coach by sending him what he considers to be an offensive text which was allegedly in the form of a joke.
"You've employed a woman as a coach. What next? Are you going to employ a dog?"Murray admits that it still troubles him and says that it shouldn't be too much to ask that his daughters have equal opportunities going forward.