Retiring Murray loses Australian Open tie
Andy Murray has lost a classic five-set match in the Australian Open. The retiring Brit – in what could be his last game – lost to Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-7 (4-7), 6-2.
Last week, a distraught Andy Murray broke down in tears as he announced he will be retiring from the sport this year. The former world number one has struggled with a hip injury and admitted the pain was too much to continue in the sport.
Murray has won 45 singles titles in his career that started in 2005 but has seen his game time cut short by a series of injuries. The reigning Olympic champion admits the pain makes his day-to-day life unbearable. The Scot explained that mundane tasks such as putting on socks caused intense pain and even social sporting activities such as golf and playing football are out of the question.
An emotional Murray had to postpone the interview to compose himself while declared he wanted this years’ Wimbledon Tournament to be his last one. He admitted though, that with the pain he is experiencing, this may not be possible, saying:
I said to my team, look, I think I can kind of get through this until Wimbledon. That was where I’d like to stop playing. But I’m also not certain I’m able to do that.–Sir Andy Murray, tennis player
This pain was evident as the 31-year-old was beaten in a thrilling game against Roberto Bautista in the first round of the Australian Open. The Scot often grimaced as he played through the pain-barrier over five sets.
Two sets down, Murray struggled initially but showed the determination and grit that has been his trademark over the years to fight back. The 2013 and 2016 winner of Wimbledon came close to a stunning victory, but a combination of his reoccurring hip problem and exhaustion saw the Spaniard claim victory.
It certainly wasn’t for a lack of effort on Murray’s part. The match lasted four hours and in that time he served 19 aces and hit 50 winners. His accuracy was good with 80% of first serve scoring points. What let Murray down was the unforced errors, 51 given up in this match, and inability to take advantage in breakpoints. Murray created five but converted just one. This may be due to the limited mobility in the hip.
If this is Andy Murray’s last match it would be a fitting tribute to the player. One of the greatest British sportsmen of his generation, Murray had to compete at a time when his opponents for honours included the formable talents of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.
Despite this competition, Murray obtained legendary status in 2013 by winning Wimbledon, becoming the first Brit to achieve the feat since Fred Perry in 1936. To prove it was no fluke, he repeated the success by claiming the 2016 crown. These victories are likely to be immortalised with plans to erect a statue at Wimbledon in his honour.