Dunno what I feel about this to be honest. It’s the nature of the sport that a lot of players end up going through a “rage at the dying of the light” phase at the end. Others feel the niggles, feel they’ve done enough and get out while they can still go through the motions on the court. Andy was never going to be one of them, and I’m sure all that emotion we’ve been seeing lately is primarily down to the fact that he absolutely loves playing tennis and is a bit trepidatious of what he’ll do next. On that score I’m sure he’ll be fine; he’s got a lot left to offer the sport and in time he’ll get over not being able to compete any more. In fact he’ll probably learn to enjoy it.
It’d be great if he could put up a good fight against Bautista next week. Given that he’s indicated it’s the recovery that’s the big killer for him he might at least have a small chance of winning, although presumably then he’d be a sitting duck in round two. The evil side of me would suggest that going down to a brave defeat on Rod Laver would be an apt bookend to his career, but he’ll get a great reception, which is the least he deserves. As for a Wimbledon send-off, well here’s hoping, but that’s a lot of grinding to go through. Perhaps he might just sack it off until Queens and then do a two tournament valediction. Doesn’t sound very him, but I’m sure he wants to be there badly.
The thing I wonder about, which may or may not surface in the next few days, is whether he could be in any fit state to play doubles at any realistic level, in which case the prospect of him teaming up with his brother for a few tournaments might be possible. Unlikely I’d say.
Anyway he’s a hero. I’ve loved watching him since 2005 and will miss him. When I was growing up I never imagined for a second that I’d ever see a British player win one Wimbledon title, let alone three slam titles, two Olympic golds, the year end number one ranking and a Davis Cup win. Unimaginable. I treasure the memory of watching him beat Radek Stepanek at Wimbledon in 2005 and commenting to a colleague that he was “the real deal”. A rare example of me demonstrating some tennis acumen.
Good luck to him. Can’t wait to see what he does next.