Britain’s Andy Murray has hinted at retirement as he said his first round defeat in Melbourne could be his last at the Australian Open.
Murray suffered a 4-6, 2-6, 2-6 straight-sets defeat to Argentina’s Tomas Martin Etcheverry.
The 36-year-old appeared emotional at the end of the match and when asked if it was a farewell to Melbourne, he said: “Yeah, it’s a definite possibility that will be the last time I play here. And yeah, I think probably because of how the match went and everything…
“Whilst you’re playing the match, you’re obviously trying to control your emotions, focus on the points and everything. When you’re one point away from the end, you’re like, I can’t believe this is over so quickly, and like this.”
He added: “In comparison to the matches that I played here last year, it’s the complete opposite feeling walking off the court. Yeah, wish I involved the crowd more. Just disappointed with the way I played and all of that stuff, so… a tough, tough way to finish.”
The former Britain No.1 pushed Etcheverry deep in an hour-long first set but the errors piled up for Murray with the Argentine comfortably taking the second set before breaking down Murray’s defiance in the third to seal progress into the second-round.
Murray, who has reached the Australian Open final on five occasions, has suffered further injuries in the past year and the Scot appeared to be clutching his hip and thigh towards the end of the game.
It’s been a disappointing start to 2024 for Murray, who was also knocked out in the first round of the Brisbane Open by Grigor Dimitrov earlier in January.