Andy Murray put on an incredibly brave display in a losing effort to Roberto Bautista Agut in his final ever Australian Open match and was greeted with an emotional farewell video from fellow players.
Ahead of the 2019 Australian Open Andy Murray revealed that this year would be his last in tennis. The former world number one has suffered with a hip injury for over a year and barely played throughout 2018 after having surgery on the issue.
He returned at the beginning of the year but after struggling in early matches and a training session with Novak Djokovic he explained the pain was too much and his career would end after Wimbledon this year.
Murray didn’t know if he would even get that far though and faced 22nd seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round in Melbourne. The Spaniard got into a two set lead and many believed it was over.
Like much of his career though the Scot never acted like it was over and did incredibly well to battle back to win tie breaks in the third and fourth sets and take the match to a decider.
Agut won the fifth 6-2 to win the match and knock Murray out, asking the question whether it would be his last ever match.
In the post match interview Murray suggested he might yet carry on but the Australian Open had a tribute video for him with lots of his peers saying nice things about him:
There’s no doubt that it was a touching tribute but the 31 year olds fellow players seemed to be talking about retirement a lot more than the Brit was.
The two time Wimbledon winner said that if he were to go again at SW19 he’d have to have another operation but he seemed far more confident about being back on the court than was being made out in the interview and from the video.
It certainly was an odd way to end the evening, sure it might be his last ever match and the Australian Open wanted to pay tribute to his final match in Melbourne but it wasn’t the right way to do it surely.
Murray’s display was typically dogged and he never gave up, though his body eventually stopped him being able to put 100% in.
If it is his last match then it was the perfect way to represent his career in five sets, but you can’t help but hope he’s at Wimbledon this summer.