Crunch time looms for Sheffield’s Wimbledon veteran

Sheffield's Jonny Marray
Sheffield's Jonny Marray
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Jonathan Marray must decide whether to continue playing tennis or bring down the curtain on a career that has spanned 14 consecutive Wimbledons.

Marray, who is 34, has enjoyed a long and relatively successful career mainly as a doubles player, opting in 2008 to focus on pairs instead of singles.

His high point came in 2012 when he partnered Danish player Frederik Nielsen to the men’s doubles title at Wimbledon, a victory that netted him £130,000 in prize money. Tennis players earn significantly less for doubles than singles, which can make surviving on the tour something of an ordeal.

“At this stage it’s not like I’m in one of the top teams earning good money” says the Sheffield player who reached the third round of the men’s doubles at this year’s Wimbledon alongside Nielsen.

“If I was doing that then I’d be stupid to give it up.

“But, obviously there are decisions to be made sometimes with your career about how it’s going, whether it’s what you want to be doing. I reassess things every year. Am I enjoying it? Am I making a living out of it? Is it what I want to do?

“We will see at the end of this year where things are and go from there.

“It (retirement) is something I’m going to have to look at because I’m not a spring chicken anymore, so I will be looking for other opportunities.”

The former All Saints Catholic High Schoolboy added: “Right now I’m still enjoying my tennis. I’m going to get stuck into the next few weeks and take it from there. Then I’ll come back and have a think.”

Marray will be partnering the American player Sam Querrey at tournaments in the USA and Colombia later this month, after which his yet-to-be-determined schedule could well take him anywhere in the world.

He made his Wimbledon debut back in 2002, appearing in the men’s doubles event, since when he has played over 50 times in singles and pairs at the All England Club.

“I’ll no doubt miss it one day because it has been a big part of my life every year for a lot of years,” says Marray.

“It’s just a fantastic tournament, the big one that everyone wants to play at. You want to do well here and fortunately I’ve had my moments.”