Australian Open

Gallant Murray exits in Round 1 Down Under

2019-01-14 14:06
Andy Murray (Getty Images)
Andy Murray (Getty Images)

Melbourne - Gutsy Andy Murray fought to the end before losing an epic Australian Open farewell match 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-7 (4/7), 6-2 at the hands of Roberto Bautista Agut on Monday.

The Scot, who said he will retire this season because of chronic hip pain, seemed finished at two sets and a break down to the 22nd seeded Spaniard in the first round but somehow battled back to force a fifth set.

"Amazing. That was incredible, thank you so, so much to everyone that came out tonight," the three-time Grand Slam champion said after being swept along on a wave of vociferous support.

"Honestly I've loved playing here over the years. If this was my last match, an amazing way to end. I gave everything I had and it wasn't enough tonight."

Murray announced at an emotional press conference on Friday that he would retire at Wimbledon this year, but conceded the Australian Open could be his last tournament, so great have been his injury problems.

But he seemed to have a change of heart after a match in which he showed his fighting spirit had not been diminished.

"Maybe I'll see you again," he said, his voice cracking with emotion. 

"I'll do everything possible to try. If I want to go again I'll need to have a big operation which there's no guarantees I'll come back from. But I'll give it my best shot."

Murray had entered a raucous Melbourne Arena to a huge ovation as Scottish Saltires and British Union flags were flown while one banner proclaimed: "There will only ever be one Andy Murray".

The rollicking support lifted him and despite frequently grimacing with pain he moved relatively freely as the Spaniard took the opening set in 50 minutes.

The in-form Bautista Agut had beaten world number one Novak Djokovic on his way to winning the Qatar Open at the start of the month and quickly took the second.

Bautista Agut broke for 2-1 in the third and just as the end looked like it would come quickly, Murray had the crowd, including mum Judy and brother Jamie, back on their feet after a winner down the line to break back. 

"Right, let's go," Murray shouted and held to love with an searing ace to nudge ahead 3-2 before forcing a tiebreak which he took 7-5 with a scream of "come on" and a huge fist pump. 

Suddenly the comeback was on.

The fourth set went with serve and Murray again proved the tie-break master on the fourth of his five set points - but not before being interrupted as he served to stay in the match at 5-6 by fireworks going off at the nearby Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Once Bautista Agut broke in the fifth, Murray's resolve finally crumbled and the Spaniard took it 6-2. He will face unseeded Australian John Millman in the second round.

"That was an incredible night," said Bautista Agut. 

"Andy deserves this atmosphere. He gave everything to the last point. I want to congratulate him for all he did for tennis."

Murray was then shown a big screen tribute from a whole phalanx of top players, including Roger Federer, Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Caroline Wozniacki and Sloane Stephens.

"I've been very fortunate - and unlucky - to compete in an era with all those great players around" Murray said.

"To have the respect of your peers is a very special thing."

Results from Day 1 of the Australian Open on Monday:

Men

Round 1

Mackenzie McDonald (USA) bt Andrey Rublev (RUS) 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4

Radu Albot (MDA) bt Michael Mmoh (USA) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2

Fernando Verdasco (ESP x26) bt Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 6-3

John Millman (AUS) bt Federico Del Bonis (ARG) 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-2

Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) bt Tennys Sandgren (USA) 6-4, 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 6-4

Karen Khachanov (RUS x10) bt Peter Gojowczyk (GER) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3

Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE x14) bt Matteo Berrettini (ITA) 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4)

Viktor Troicki (SRB) bt Roberto Carballes (ESP) 6-1, 1-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4

Stefano Travaglia (ITA) bt Guido Andreozzi (ARG) 6-7 (3/7), 6-2, 6-3, 6-2

Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO x19) bt Christopher Eubanks (USA) 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-3

Gael Monfils (FRA x30) bt Damir Dzumhur (BIH) 6-0, 6-4, 6-0

Taylor Fritz (USA) bt Cameron Norrie (GBR) 6-3, 7-6 (8/6), 6-2

Daniel Evans (GBR) bt Tatsuma Ito (JPN) 7-5, 6-1, 7-6 (10/8)

Kevin Anderson (RSA x5) bt Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1

Frances Tiafoe (USA) bt Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND) 7-6 (9/7), 6-3, 6-3

Jordan Thompson (AUS) bt Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 6-1, 7-6 (7/0), 6-3

Andreas Seppi (ITA) bt Steve Johnson (USA x31) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3

Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x20) bt Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, 6-4

Pablo Cuevas (URU) bt Dusan Lajovic (SRB) 6-4, 7-5, 6-1

Thomas Fabbiano (ITA) bt Jason Kubler (AUS) 6-4, 7-6 (7/1), 2-6, 6-3

Reilly Opelka (USA) bt John Isner (USA x9) 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (8/6), 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/5)

Tomas Berdych (CZE) bt Kyle Edmund (GBR x13) 6-3, 6-0, 7-5

Robin Haase (NED) bt Guillermo Garc1a-Lopez (ESP) 7-5, 6-4, 7-5

Denis Kudla (USA) bt Marc Polmans (AUS) 5-7, 1-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2

Diego Schwartzman (ARG x18) bt Rudolf Molleker (GER) 6-1, 6-3, 4-6, 6-0

Alex De Minaur (AUS x27) bt Pedro Sousa (POR) 6-4, 7-5, 6-4

Henri Laaksonen (SUI) bt Mirza Basic (BIH) 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 6-3

Matthew Ebden (AUS) bt Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 1-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4

Rafael Nadal (ESP x2) bt James Duckworth 6-4, 6-3, 7-5

Roberto Bautista (ESP x22) bt Andy Murray (SCO) 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-7 (4/7), 6-2

Roger Federer (SUI x3) bt Denis Istomin (UZB) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4

Marin Cilic (CRO x6) bt Bernard Tomic (AUS) 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3)

Women

Round 1

Irina Begu (ROM) bt Andrea Petkovic (GER) 6-7 (3/7), 4-3 retired

Belinda Bencic (SUI) bt Katerina Siniakova (CZE) 6-4, 2-6, 6-3

Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) bt Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE x32) 6-4, 7-6 (7/1)

Lesya Tsurenko (UKR x24) bt Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) 6-4, 7-6 (7/4)

Amanda Anisimova (USA) bt Monica Niculescu (ROM) 7-6 (7/3), 6-4

Katie Boulter (GBR) bt Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) 6-0, 4-6, 7-6 (10/6)

Aryna Sabalenka (BLR x11) bt Anna Kalinskaya (RUS) 6-1, 6-4

Ashleigh Barty (AUS x15) bt Luksika Kumkhum (THA) 6-2, 6-2

Wang Yafan (CHN) bt Ellen Perez (AUS) 6-4, 6-0

Astra Sharma (AUS) bt Priscilla Hon (AUS) 7-5, 4-6, 6-1

Maria Sakkari (GRE) bt Jelena Ostapenko (LAT x22) 6-1, 3-6, 6-2

Maria Sharapova (RUS x30) bt Harriet Dart (GBR) 6-0, 6-0

Rebecca Peterson (SWE) bt Sorana Cirstea (ROU) 6-4, 6-1

Johanna Larsson (SWE) bt Vera Lapko (BLR) 7-6 (7/5), 3-0 retired

Caroline Wozniacki (DEN x3) bt Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) 6-3, 6-4

Sloane Stephens (USA x5) bt Taylor Townsend (USA) 6-4, 6-2

Timea Babos (HUN) bt Ons Jabeur (TUN) 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/3)

Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) bt Evgeniya Rodina (RUS) 6-3, 6-2

Petra Martic (CRO x31) bt Heather Watson (GBR) 6-1, 6-2

Anett Kontaveit (EST x20) bt Sara Sorribes (ESP) 6-3, 6-2

Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) bt Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 6-1, 6-1

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) bt Monica Puig (PUR) 6-4, 6-3

Kiki Bertens (NED x9) bt Alison Riske (USA) 6-3, 6-3

Danielle Collins (USA) bt Julia Georges (GER x14) 2-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4

Sachia Vickery (USA) bt Ysaline Bonaventure (BEL) 2-6, 6-4, 6-4

Zoe Hives (AUS) bt Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 6-1, 6-2

Caroline Garcia (FRA x19) bt Jessika Ponchet (FRA) 6-2, 6-3

Donna Vekic (CRO x29) bt Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 6-2, 6-4

Kimberly Birrell (AUS) bt Paula Badosa (ESP) 6-4, 6-2

Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA) bt Bernarda Pera (USA) 6-3, 5-7, 6-4

Angelique Kerber (GER x2) bt Polona Hercog (SLO) 6-2, 6-2

Petra Kvitova (CZE x8) bt Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) 6-3, 6-2

Read more on:    atp tour  |  australian open  |  andy murray  |  tennis

 

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