Andy Murray of Great Britain reacts after losing a ball...

Andy Murray of Great Britain reacts after losing a ball to Denis Shapovalov of Canada during a match of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Feb. 26, 2024. Credit: AP/Kamran Jebreili

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Andy Murray hinted he is heading into the “last few months” of his career after rallying past Denis Shapovalov 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3 at the Dubai Championships for his 500th hard-court win.

“I obviously still love competing and still love the game, but it obviously gets harder and harder the older you get to compete with the young guys and keep your body fit and fresh,” the 36-year-old Murray said in an on-court interview after his first-round win on Monday. “I probably don’t have too long left, but I’ll do as best as I can these last few months.”

Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion playing with an artificial hip, has considered retirement before. This was only his second win of the year.

After losing in straight sets to Tomas Martin Etcheverry in the first round of the Australian Open last month, Murray said it might be the last time he enters the season’s first major.

Murray improved to 18-5 for his career in Dubai, where he lifted the trophy in 2017. He’ll next face Ugo Humbert or Gael Monfils.

The only other players with 500 hard-court wins in the Open Era are Roger Federer (783), Novak Djokovic (700), Andre Agassi (592) and Rafael Nadal (518).

“Obviously hard court has been a great surface for me over the years and 500 is a lot of matches so I’m very proud of that,” Murray said. “There are not many players that have done that, so great to get to 500 before I’m done.”

Andy Murray of Great Britain reacts after winning a point...

Andy Murray of Great Britain reacts after winning a point against Denis Shapovalov of Canada during a match of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Feb. 26, 2024. Credit: AP/Kamran Jebreili

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