Andy Murray, British tennis star, has crashed out of the Australian Open after losing a five-set thriller to Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round.
The Scotsman had to show his famed doggedness despite visibly hobbling during the match to come close to upsetting his Spanish opponent.
The 31-year-old who says he is constantly in pain during play had to fight back from two sets down to tie the match at 2-2 but was overpowered in the deciding fifth set despite being backed by a vociferous crowd.
During a tearful press conference last week, Murray had said the Australian Open might be his last major tournament as he contemplates retirement due to chronic hip pain.
Speaking after the match at the Melbourne Arena, the Glasgow-born who has won over $60 million in prize money, stopped short of saying goodbye to the game.
“Maybe I’ll see you again,” Murray said.
“I’ll do everything to possible to try. If I want to go again, I’ll need to have a big operation, which there is no guarantee I’ll be able to come back from anyway, but I’ll give it my best shot.”
Speaking later at his press conference, Murray echoed his intention to retire this season.
“If this was my last match, it was an amazing way to end. I gave everything I had – it wasn’t enough tonight,” he said.
Andy Murray is a former world number one tennis player who won three Grand Slam titles, including two Wimbledon titles.
He also won two Olympic gold medals at London 2012 and Rio 2016 in a professional career that has spanned 13 years.