Melbourne - Canada's Milos Raonic said he'd never been so heartbroken on a tennis court after a painful groin injury put paid to his chances of reaching his first Grand Slam final on Friday.
Raonic twice led Andy Murray in their Australian Open semi-final but after four hours on court, he lost in five tough sets 4-6, 7-5, 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-2 and was constantly wincing in pain.
The 25-year-old said he had no intention of quitting despite the potential for aggravating the right groin problem, which he said he first felt on his run to this month's Brisbane International title.
"Probably the most heartbroken I felt on court, but that's what it is," the 13th seed told reporters afterwards. Asked whether he was concerned about aggravating the injury by playing on, he said: "No.
"I couldn't have cared less what could have happened on the court. I was in my second (Grand Slam) semi-final. I was in a much better position than where I was last time. Regardless of what situation I was in, I was going to play and try to do whatever I could."
Raonic added: "I'm happy with where my tennis is at, I just wish I could play... tennis."
Raonic was thrashed by Roger Federer in his only previous Grand Slam semi-final, at Wimbledon two years ago, but he was a very different proposition on Friday.
The big-serving Canadian had the measure of Murray, the world number two, until the injury cruelly struck and he angrily smashed his racquet on the court floor as the match slipped away in the fifth set.
"I guess that was just the whole frustration of everything getting out. I don't think that's like myself to do, but sometimes it's a little bit too much to keep in," Raonic said.
He added: "Honestly, I'm not in the mental state where I would be seeing a doctor to get a recommendation (about the groin) today. Maybe that happens tomorrow or whenever I feel like I'm ready to face that situation.
"When that comes, I'll deal with it accordingly."