Andy Murray has admitted he may have played his final tennis match at the Australian Open after his uncharacteristic demeanour on court in his crushing first round exit. Murray entered the Show Court Arena to a raucous applause as the Aussie crowd got behind the 36-year-old knowing this could be the last time he plays at the grand slam.
Murray put up an early fight against Tomas Etcheverry in the first set, but his serve let him down as he faded quickly in the match. Murray has won over, and frustrated, fans over the years for wearing his heart on his sleeve during a contest.
And despite the Show Court Arena fans willing Murray on, the 36-year-old remained unusually subdued in the final two sets as he looked bereft of ideas against the classy Argentine. And in hard to watch scenes, Murray was bundled out of the grand slam in straight sets in what could potentially be his last time at Melbourne Park.
Murray's wave to the fans said it all as he exited the arena to a standing ovation for his incredible career. Aussie coach Roger Rasheed claimed it was 'difficult to watch' Murray go out of the grand slam in unusual style.
And Murray admitted in his post-match press conference that it could have been his last appearance at the Australian Open after what appeared to be a final wave goodbye. "There's definitely a possibility that it's the last time I play here," a dejected Murray said.
Murray said he felt different on court compared to previous years. "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."
"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."
Murray's admission could see him skip Roland Garros and focus on a potential farewell at Wimbledon, which would be a stunning send off for the two-time champion. And fans were left stunned having watched a legend of the game fade in atypical fashion after so many epic battles at one of his most successful grand slams.
A listless flat Andy Murray with zero emotion was no fun to watch. Felt sad watching that. That’s not the Andy Murray we know. Could be the last time we see the great Scotsman grace Melbourne Park unfortunately. Sorry if I’m being very bleak, but I’m just being brutally honest.
— Vansh (@vanshv2k) January 15, 2024
Sad to watch Andy Murray go out in an uncompetitive manner, but the
Scotsman is COOKED
Muzz ran through the reserves in 2023.
Go head and enjoy retirement Muzz. We love ya. We need ya in the booth next to Kygs#AO24
— notyourcountryclub (@showfortennis) January 15, 2024
Etcheverry d. Andy Murray 6-4 6-2 6-2 at the Australian Open
Tomas won his 1st main draw match in a Slam here last year.
The good times keep coming for him in Melbourne.
Whether he’s 26 or 36 years old, you have to play at a very high level to beat Andy Murray.
Too good. 🇦🇷 pic.twitter.com/V3ZMHNzBST
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) January 15, 2024
Andy Murray goes down to Tomas Martin Etcheverry, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2. Nice sendoff from the fans in Kia Arena, but a really tough one for Muzzah.
— TennisNow (@Tennis_Now) January 15, 2024
Thomas Martin Etcheverry is an absolute nightmare opponent for Andy Murray at this stage of his career.
12 years Murray’s junior, super-fit, and doesn’t have a metal hip. Plus, he’s good.
6-4, 3-1 #AusOpen
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) January 15, 2024
Stan Wawrinka fades in Australian Open loss
Murray wasn't the only great of the game that could have played his last Australian Open match. Stan Wawrinka looked like he could have won against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino having taken a 2-1 set lead.
However, Wawrinka faded in the last two sets with Mannarino taking the victory and leaving Wawrinka stunned. The Swiss star graciously signed autographs and waved to the fans in what could also be Wawrinka's last appearance at the grand slam, which he won back in 2014.
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