Boris Becker has urged Andy Murray to have hip surgery and believes the former world No 1 can get back to the top of the game.
Murray tearfully announced on the eve of the Australian Open that he was planning to retire this year because of ongoing right hip pain but a resurfacing operation could potentially allow him to play again.
There are no guarantees, however, with no singles player having successfully come back from such an operation, and Murray could choose instead to make a farewell appearance at Wimbledon.
Becker, who is working as an expert for Eurosport at the tournament, believes Murray would regret not trying the surgical route.
He said: “I really like Andy, I know him well, but I really wish he’s not forced to retire because of an injury. I think that’s the worst for an athlete.
“So if there’s a possibility medically to get better so he can finish on his own terms, I think it’s vital for him and maybe the rest of his life – otherwise he could have a big chip on his shoulder.
“I’ve seen other athletes that have been forced out of their sport they love because of injury. Yes he’s been fighting it for 18 months and he’s tried everything, but we’re in 2019, there are new treatments for every type of injury, you just have to find the right doctors.”
Murray produced an extraordinary performance in the first round given his physical condition, losing over five sets to Roberto Bautista Agut, who went on to reach the quarter-finals.
Becker believes that should give him encouragement for the future, saying: “It wasn’t his first tournament after a lengthy lay-off so I wasn’t surprised about the level.
“He was No 1 in the world when he stopped 18 months ago and that’s not an eternity so, when fit, he’s one of the best. It’s a question of time. If he gets treated the right way, in my opinion, then he can come back and play some good matches.”
Murray is expected to decide his path of action in the next few days.
Murray’s brother Jamie is back in action in the quarter-finals of the men’s doubles. Alongside Bruno Soares, they face 12th seeds Henri Kontinen and John Peers, Murray’s former partner.
It is the fifth time in the last nine grand slams that Murray and Soares have reached the last eight, but they have not gone further since winning their second slam title together at the US Open in 2016.
Murray is also through to the quarter-finals of the mixed doubles with Bethanie Mattek-Sands as the pair look to make it back-to-back slam titles.