Andy Murray won Wimbledon this year, which effectively means the Scot could retire from tennis tomorrow and simply bask in the glory of achieving something no Brit had managed since the 1930s.
But his year has been effectively ended by a back operation just days after he led Britain back into the World Group of Davis Cup tennis for the first time since the era of Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski.
At the end of last week Murray tweeted his plans for the surgery:
Thanks so much for all the nice messages today... Having operation on monday.. Will let everyone know how it goes.. Ill be "back" stronger— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) September 19, 2013
He had been struggling with the injury for much of the season, according to his agency, as reported in The Scotsman:
The issue flared up again during the Rome Masters this year when Andy was forced to retire and he sought advice from a range of specialists in May.
After a successful return on the more forgiving grass courts, Andy enjoyed success at Queen’s and Wimbledon, but after recently playing on hard-courts and clay, Andy once again sought medical advice about solving the issue once and for all. The aim is to be fully fit for the new season.
And true to his word he was back on Twitter on Monday evening, tweeting a picture from his hospital bed:
Thanks for all the well wishes, means a lot to me... pic.twitter.com/KokbiW8Y4M— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) September 23, 2013
First thing I said when I came round was "did I win?" #somethingsneverchange— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) September 23, 2013
The world No. 3 hopes to be back in shape for the Australian Open, which takes place in January 2014. He has reached the final of the event on three occasions, in 2010, 2011 and 2013 but has lost on all three occasions.
The 26-year-old will miss the minimal amount of critical tournaments by having surgery now but will still miss some Masters tournaments between now and the end of the season, as well as the prestigious ATP Tour Finals on home soil in London at the end of the season.