Reuters

Andy Murray goes down fighting in first round of Australian Open


Andy Murray suffered a 4-6 4-6 7-6 7-6 2-6 defeat against No.22 seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round of the Australian Open.

Andy Murray went down fighting in the first round of the Australian Open (AP Photo)

Andy Murray went down fighting in the first round of the Australian Open (AP Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Andy Murray suffered a 4-6 4-6 7-6 7-6 2-6 defeat to Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round at the Australian Open
  • Andy Murray has been suffering from a right hip injury for nearly two years now
  • Murray has finished runner-up in Melbourne five times but never won the title

Andy Murray suffered a first round exit at the Australian Open on Monday. Andy Murray went down 4-6 4-6 7-6 7-6 2-6 to No.22 seed Roberto Bautista Agut at the Melbourne Arena.

Murray, who has finished runner-up in Melbourne five times but never won the title, may announce his retirement after a prolonged battle with a hip injury.

Hip surgery a year ago has left the three-time Grand Slam champion in severe pain and the 31-year-old had last week said that the year’s first Grand Slam could be his last tournament. The former world No.1 said the severe pain from his troublesome right hip became almost unbearable for him to play on.

Murray had never lost in three meetings with Bautista Agut and last beat the 22nd seed in the Shanghai Masters final in 2016, when the Scot was at his peak having just won his second Wimbledon title and Olympic gold in Rio.

Overcome with emotion, Murray wept at a media conference as he revealed that he had initially planned to quit after playing this year’s Wimbledon tournament but now felt Melbourne Park might end up his swansong.

“There’s a chance of that, for sure, because I’m not sure I’m able to play through the pain for another four or five months,” the 31-year-old Briton, now ranked 230th in the world, said.

“The pain is too much, really, and I don’t want to continue playing that way. The pain is not allowing me to enjoy competing or training or any of the stuff I love about tennis.”

Murray had surgery on the joint a year ago, having played with pain for a number of years. He came back last June but was forced to cut his 2018 season short.

Murray said basic things in everyday life, like putting on socks and shoes, were causing him severe pain and he had grown weary of talking about his hip in every conversation.

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