Andy Murray suffered a 4-6, 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/4), 2-6 defeat to Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round to bow out of the Australian Open 2019 in Melbourne on Monday. The 31-year-old Scot, who has won won two Wimbledon titles, appeared struggling since the beginning of the exciting clash. After losing the first two sets, Andy Murray put a strong fightback and sealed the third and fourth set with tiebreaker wins. He had announced his retirement plans on Friday due to a chronic hip injury. In the Rod Laver Arena, Swiss tennis star Roger Federer registered a straight-set victory against Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan.
In women’s singles, defending champion Caroline Wozniacki’s started her campaign with a convincing 6-3, 6-4 win over Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium.
The third seed won her maiden Slam at Melbourne Park last year and is bidding to become the first woman to defend the title since Victoria Azarenka in 2013.
The Dane comfortably eased past world number 52 Van Uytvanck, showing no outward sign of rheumatoid arthritis, the debilitating auto-immune disease that has threatened to derail her career.
Earlier, American number one and ninth-seed John Isner was knocked out of the Australian Open losing 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (8/6), 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/5) to 6ft 11in (2.11m) fellow American Reilly Opelka in a battle of the giants.
No fewer than 87 aces were powered down between the big-serving pair with just one break apiece being registered in the fourth set of a match that lasted 2hr 58min.
Isner, 33, had not lost a Grand Slam match to a player ranked as low as number 97 Opelka, who is 12 years his junior, since retiring due to a foot injury while trailing 106th-ranked Martin Klizan in the first round at Melbourne in 2014.
Opelka has never before reached the second round of a Slam and will next face Italy’s world number 102 Thomas Fabbiano, who beat Australian wildcard Jason Kubler 6-4, 7-6 (7/1), 2-6, 6-3.
(With AFP inputs)