Andy Murray says that he will be content if his five set thriller against Spain’s Roberto Bautista-Agut in the opening round of the Australian Open is his last match. He bowed out with a trademark battling performance, showing incredible fight and determination.
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Photo: MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 14: Andy Murray of Britain in action during his first round match during day one of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 14, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by James D. Morgan/Getty Images)
On many occasions, an emotional Murray was reduced to tears on Monday night as he made a memorable final appearance at Melbourne Park. However, in his likely final ever press conference, there were no tears as he maintained some hope that he could yet return in 2020.
Just as he was about to begin his service game at 5-1 down in the fifth set, Murray was caught wiping away tears when he was stopped from beginning his service by a raucous standing ovation from the crowd in Melbourne Arena.
Murray went on to hold his serve and then Bautista-Agut served out the match, which last four hours and nine minutes with a final score of 6-4 6-4 7-6 7-6 6-2.
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Photo: MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 14: Andy Murray of Great Britain congratulates Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain following their first round match during day one of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 14, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia.(Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images)
Post match Murray said “If today was my last match, it was a brilliant way to finish”.
The emotion stopped when it was time to outline how he will decide in the next few weeks if he will go ahead with hip surgery that will end his career immediately or if he will try to rest up for a final appearance at Wimbledon in July.
“I have basically like two options,” he said.
“One is to take the next four and a half months off, then build up, you know, play Wimbledon. Look, I mean, although tonight was not comfortable in terms of my hip. At the end, I mean, I’m really struggling. I can’t walk properly at all just now.
“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. But 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. There’s no guarantees that you can come back from that. 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.
“I’ll probably decide in the next week or so. But that’s what I was saying the other day, that this might be my last match. If I go ahead with the operation, I don’t recover well from it, then I don’t play again. I’m aware of that. That is the decision that I have to make.”
A montage video shows some of Murray’s fellow ATP and WTA stars paying tribute to Murray which he was shown at the conclusion of his match. The video is seen below: