World number one Andy Murray says he may only have “a couple of years” left at the top of tennis but insists he will “make the most of every tournament”.
Now 30 years old, Murray will be aiming to win Wimbledon for the third time and equal Fred Perry’s record when the tournament starts next month.
In a wide-ranging interview with BBC Sport, the Briton discussed being the world’s top player, his love of Wimbledon, “making mistakes” and life after retirement.
The Scot, who was knighted in the New Year Honours, turned 30 in May and all of the top five players on the men’s tour are in their 30s. Spaniard Rafael Nadal is 31, Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland is 32, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic is 30 and Swiss Roger Federer 35.
But Murray said that despite players continuing to compete at the highest level into their 30s he accepts that he may not have long left at the top.
“My coach, Ivan Lendl, was still competitive at the top until he was about 32 but, generally, over the past 20 to 30 years, normally by early 30s is when players have struggled to stay at the top.
“I know some of the players have been doing really well until their mid-30s recently, but that might not be the case with me. Maybe the next couple of years are the last few where I have a chance to compete for the majors and the biggest tournaments.
“Most of the players are travelling with physios now, spending a lot more time working in the gym to protect their bodies from the kind of pounding you give it on the court as well. I think some of that explains it.
“I don’t know how long I’m going to be playing for any more. I want to make the most of every tournament I compete in. If I’m going to be away from my family, I’m not going to do that and not do my best, be totally professional and take every tournament as seriously as I can.
“I’ll continue to play and so long as my body is fine. I would like to hope that I would continue to do that whilst I’m still enjoying it.
“I enjoy being away from the court. I have a family now – I have more interests away from the court than I did in my early 20s or mid 20s – so obviously it will be sad to stop. But I think I’ll be all right.”
Watch the full interview at: BBC.com