Andy Murray content if Melbourne exit was his last match

Scot must decide whether he is to get more hip surgery which may prolong career

Andy Murray reacts during his first round match against Roberto Bautista Agut at the Australian in Melbourne. Photo: Julian Smith/EPA

Andy Murray reacts during his first round match against Roberto Bautista Agut at the Australian in Melbourne. Photo: Julian Smith/EPA

 

Andy Murray’s hopes of finishing his tennis career at Wimbledon this summer seem negligible, and he says there are “no guarantees” further surgery on his damaged right hip would enable him to carry on playing, even after losing heroically in five sets on the opening day of the 2019 Australian Open.

The Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut had to play at his very best to beat the former world No 1 for the first time in four attempts, 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-7 (4), 6-2, in four hours and nine minutes in the Melbourne Arena, the tournament’s third show court, on a warm Monday evening.

Murray, who turns 32 in May and has reached five finals here, said later: “I’ll probably decide in the next week or so. If I go ahead with the operation and I don’t recover well from it, then I don’t play again. I’m aware of that. I’ll be in less pain doing just normal things, like walking around and putting my shoes and socks on.

“I know that I’m not the same player as I was. But, if today was my last match, it was a brilliant way to finish. That’s something that I’ll probably take into consideration, as well. It was an amazing atmosphere. I literally gave everything that I had on the court, fought as best as I could, and performed a lot better than I should have done with the amount I’ve been able to practice and train. I’d be okay with that being my last match.”

He added: “I would like my daughters to come and watch me play a tennis match, hopefully understand what’s happening before I finish, but I’m aware that that probably isn’t going to happen now. I’m a bit sad about that.”

Murray said the operation – the same one which has helped the American doubles player, Bob Bryan, recover from similar hip pain – did not come with a specific healing time, and he would not have it just to play tennis again.

“You have to allow bones to heal and muscles to recover properly to give the operation the best chance of improving your quality of life. Me trying to get on a tennis court after two months just because I’m trying to get ready for Wimbledon might not be the best thing for my health in the future. I have to do the rehab properly, respect healing times, not rush anything. I don’t know exactly how long it would be.”

Murray speaks at a press conference after his defeat. Photo: Kin Cheung/AP Photo
Murray speaks at a press conference after his defeat. Photo: Kin Cheung/AP Photo

Roger Federer, who will play Dan Evans next after a straight-sets win over Denis Istomin, led the accolades for Murray.

“He is somebody who will try everything to beat you – within the rules, with his fighting spirit, his tactics, slicing, defence, attacking play, even serve and volley, chip and charge,” Federer said. “He’ll leave everything out there. He’s one of the great retrievers we had in our sport.

“And carrying the weight of Britain on his shoulders, that was not easy for him. All of us, the players, we’re extremely happy that he ended up winning Wimbledon, Davis Cup, Olympic gold. He had to really fight for it and earn it, like world No 1. There’s a lot to admire about Andy, how he went about it.”

Federer said of Evans, who beat Japanese qualifier Tatsuma Ito in straight sets, “I like the way he plays. He’s got all the shots, likes to take chances, takes the ball early. It’s nice to see him back on the Tour as well. I’m happy for him that he won his first round.” – Guardian service

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.