In what he says could be the final match of his professional tennis career, Andy Murray fell to Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round of the Australian Open on Tuesday.
Murray — who announced earlier this month in an emotional press conference that he’ll retire from the sport after enduring a long struggle with hip pain — lost to the No. 22 seed in the match ending 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-7 (4), 6-2, ESPN reported.
Despite the loss, Murray earned the love of the crowd in Melbourne, later describing the atmosphere of the match as “amazing” to reporters.
He said, “If this was my last match, this was a great way to end. I gave literally everything I had. It wasn’t enough on this night.”
According to ESPN, Murray, 31, said “maybe I’ll see you again,” promising, “I’ll do everything possible to try.”
Murray teased a career decision in the next week or so, detailing to reporters that he is weighing two options — one being undergoing another surgery.
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“One is to take the next 4½ months off, then build up, play Wimbledon,” Murray said, according to ESPN. He added, “Although tonight was not comfortable in terms of my hip, I could play another match. But if I want to try to play again, I want to improve my quality of life, because even if I take four months, I still can’t walk. I’m still in pain doing just basic day-to-day things.”
Continued Murray, reported ESPN, “Having an operation like that, there’s absolutely no guarantees I’d be able to play again. I’m fully aware of that. It’s a really big operation. But there is the possibility because guys have done it before. Bob Bryan is doing it just now. Some other athletes have given it a go. But, like I said, there’s no guarantees. That’s kind of the decision I have to make, that possibility of not having one more match by having the operation.”
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During the press conference on Friday, Murray said, “It’s not just that — the pain is too much, really. I don’t want to continue playing that way.”
At the time, the athlete said that he “would like to stop playing” at Wimbledon, in July, “but I am not certain I am able to do that.”
“Not feeling good. Been struggling for a long time. I’m not sure I can play through the pain for another four or five months,” said the British player, CNN reported. “Pretty much done everything that I could to try and get my hip feeling better and it hasn’t helped loads. I think there is a chance the Australian Open is my last tournament.”
Murray’s decorated career includes a clinching of three Grand Slam titles and two gold medals at the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics, where he bested Roger Federer and Juan Martín del Potro, respectively.
At the 2012 US Open, Murray became the first British player in 35 years to take home the win in a Grand Slam singles tournament, making him the only British male to, during the Open Era, become a Grand Slam singles champ.
In 2013, he became the first British player to win a Wimbledon senior singles title since 1977 — as well as the first British player to win a Wimbledon’s men’s single title in 77 years.
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