Murray’s R-rated zinger hits below the belt
Andy Murray will be hoping to go out with a bang at his final Australian Open but a brilliant one-liner he dished out on Instagram after dropping a retirement bombshell was more related to a whimper.
The Scottish tennis legend broke down in tears yesterday when he revealed the grand slam at Melbourne Park, which begins on Monday, may be his last ever tournament. He wants to retire at Wimbledon this year but became emotional when he admitted his ailing body might let him down before his arrival at the All England Club.
Tributes from the tennis community flooded in for the 31-year-old as players, fans and commentators paid their respects to the man who epitomised what fighting spirit is all about.
But although he can come across as a crotchety old grouch much of the time, especially when blowing up at himself on court, the two-time Wimbledon champion actually has a brilliant sense of humour.
That was on show again when he took to social media to accept a challenge offered up by World No. 59 Stan Wawrinka. The three-time grand slam winner asked his Instagram followers to caption a photo showing a man next to him holding his thumb and finger just an inch or so apart.
One might think he was showing how much a forehand missed the baseline by, but Murray's mind was somewhere else, commenting: "It was this small when you got out the cryotherapy chamber."
The below-the-belt remark will strike a chord with anyone who's seen the Seinfeld episode where George and Jerry talk to Elaine about men facing the problem of "shrinkage".
And given the temperature drops down below zero in cryotherapy treatment, we can see where Murray was coming from.
Murray was touched by the messages of support he'd received since announcing the shock news of his impending retirement, posting a picture with mum Judy to thank everyone for their kind words and giving a shout out to his No. 1 supporter.
Murray's hip issues have him preparing for an inevitable end as the pain has slowly become too much to bear.
"So I'm not feeling great," Murray said. "Been struggling for a long time, I've been in a lot of pain for probably about 20 months.
"I've pretty much done everything I could to get my hip feeling better.
"I'm in a better place than I was six months ago but I'm still in a lot of pain. It's been tough."
In a devastating admission, Murray said: "I can't even put my shoes or socks on without any pain.
"I can play with limitations. But having the limitations and the pain is not allowing me to enjoy competing or training.
"The pain is too much really and I don't want to continue playing that way.
"During my training block I spoke to my team and told them I can't keep doing this."
As Murray's career draws to a close he will be remembered as a gritty baseliner who rose to the top of the world against all odds by breaking the stranglehold that Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic had on the men's game when he took out the 2012 US Open title.
On that occasion he beat Djokovic in the final 7-6 (12-10) 7-5 2-6 3-6 6-2.
He then went on to become Britain's hometown hero in 2013, when he became the first British man since Fred Perry's triumph in 1936 to win Wimbledon, again beating Djokovic 6-4 7-5 6-4, before he did so again in 2016, downing Canada's Milos Raonic 6-4 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-2).
Murray also won Olympic gold in 2012 and 2016, making him the only tennis player to have won singles gold twice.
And in 2015 he led Britain to a historic Davis Cup triumph, as they won for the first time since 1936. Murray never lost a match when representing his country in that campaign and went 11-0 before he raised the Cup alongside brother Jamie, who he played doubles with.