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Andy Murray says it’s a ‘definite possibility’ he’s played final Australian Open match after straight-set first-round loss

Andy Murray says there is a definite possibility he has played his final Australian Open match after a straight-set defeat in the first round of this year’s tournament.

Murray, 36, lost 6-4 6-2 6-2 to Argentina’s Tomás Martín Etcheverry on Monday, just his second opening-round defeat at the grand slam in 16 years.

The former world No. 1 was thoroughly outplayed by his 24-year-old opponent, and the manner of the defeat left him feeling pensive afterwards.

“It’s a definite possibility that will be the last time I play here. I think probably because of how the match went and everything, I don’t know,” he told reporters afterwards, calling the match a “tough, tough way to finish.”

“While 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.’

“In comparison to the matches that I played here last year, it’s the complete opposite feeling walking off the court. Wish I involved the crowd more. Just disappointed with the way I played and all of that stuff.”

Murray (right) and Etcheverry shake hands after the Argentinan beat Murray at the Australian Open. - Andy Wong/AP
Murray (right) and Etcheverry shake hands after the Argentinan beat Murray at the Australian Open. - Andy Wong/AP

Murray is a five-time finalist at the Australian Open and is a three-time grand slam winner.

However, he was routinely outclassed by 30th-seeded Etcheverry, who broke Murray’s serve six times.

Known for his passionate displays and outbursts during matches, Murray was uncharacteristically subdued throughout Monday’s match, before taking a long moment to wave to the crowd as he left the court after the loss.

When reporters asked Murray for a retirement timeline, he said, “I haven’t made any definite decisions on that. Yeah, it’s obviously something that I need to think about and see exactly when that is.

“I have spoken to my team about it. I’ve spoken to my family about it multiple times.
It’s not like it hasn’t been something that’s been on my mind,” he added.

Murray has battled persistent and serious injuries over recent years, including two hip surgeries in 2019.

The Scot now plays with a metal hip and to be even playing at a grand slam is a remarkable achievement for someone with his injury record.

Murray plays a backhand return to Etcheverry during their first round match at the Australian Open. - Andy Wong/AP
Murray plays a backhand return to Etcheverry during their first round match at the Australian Open. - Andy Wong/AP

Medvedev, Tsitsipas, Shelton move on

Elsewhere in the men’s draw on Monday, there were opening round wins for some of the tournament favorites.

No. 3 seed Daniil Medvedev booked his spot in the second round after surviving a scare when he fell a set behind to Terence Atmane before the Frenchman was forced to retire with cramps.

Medvedev started slowly, falling into the one-set deficit, before battling back. Atmane appeared to pull up with cramping in the third set and, after attempting to continue, was forced to stop as he broke into tears.

No. 7 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas also came from a set down to beat Zizou Bergs on Monday, the Greek’s new serving technique working well on its tournament debut.

“It’s tactical … it’s something that I’ve been working on,” Tsitsipas said during his on-court interview. “You can find different angles.”

“A lot of players follow that serve technique,” he added, specifically mentioning Jannik Sinner and Alexander Zverev. “They are very good servers.”

21-year-old US tennis sensation Ben Shelton also advanced to the second round of the Australian Open on Monday, beating Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets.

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