When it comes to trying to figure what Andy Murray might do you have to pay close attention to what those around him say. Judy Murray, earlier this ATP season, suggested that Murray wouldn't be fit for Wimbledon. A little while later Murray went out in the quarterfinals at the All England Club with an injury. Then in late July, Tim Henman spoke about Andy Murray missing the balance of the tour season. The Scot has not made such an announcement as of yet, but since Henman spoke Murray has missed both the Rogers Cup and the Cincinnati Masters. Those are two major events that lead into the US Open, events that Murray would not miss if at all possible.

The Wimbledon result after Judy Murray hinted about Murray being injured and Murray's reduced schedule after the Henman remarks show that those around him do offer insight when they talk about the current World No. 1.

Judy Murray's recent remarks

Given that Judy Murray, Andy's mother, once again is speaking about her son, tennis fans should not be downplaying what she has to say. Judy made remarks that actually hint at the Scot retiring soon. According to Judy Murray: “The thing that worries me now is that Andy may not play for much longer. He has been around for 12 years playing at the top of the game" (qtd. at the Scotsman by Brian Ferguson on August 16th).

Those 12 years have certainly been fruitful as he has three Grand Slam titles among many other smaller achievements, including many at the Masters Series level.

However, Andy Murray also had back surgery in 2013 and currently he is struggling with a hip problem that threatens his season. The surgery for his back came about a year after he won the 2012 US Open and a few months after he won Wimbledon 2013. It seems that his major injury problems follow success, which certainly makes sense.

In tennis, the more you win the more you play. It's not like other sports where, playoffs aside, you play a set schedule.

Murray will fall from the top

Murray's hip problems come in the aftermath of his ascension to the World No. 1 ranking. This time last season he was about to lose in Cincinnati's final and then fall in the US Open quarters.

But after those blips he would go on a run that would see him win five late-season titles and supplant Novak Djokovic as the top-ranked player. Murray has been there ever since.

But the Scot will fall out of the No. 1 spot on Monday for the first time in 41 weeks. With titles to defend in Shanghai, Paris, and London (among others), unless Murray returns to tennis playing exceptionally well -- and soon -- he may fall well out of the top ten before season's end. He's not the only major tennis star with retirement buzz surrounding his name right now as Serena Williams made a cryptic remark implying that she could retire in 2018.

It appears that Murray -- with the hip injury and at the age of 30 -- is at a crossroads.

We've seen that turning 30 does not count for as much as it used to on tour as the 30+ crowd has won the last four majors. However, Murray isn't quite as nimble as some of his contemporaries, possibly because of his height and heftier physique. At present he is expected at the 2017 US Open, but the point that fans should be aware of is that when those around Murray are talking, that talk has not simply been idle gossip in the past.

(Image Credit: By Carine06 (Flickr: Andy Murray receives medical treatment) [CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)