‘Time frame narrows’: Andy Murray fails to fire a shot and shocker shapes as his AO farewell
Five-time Australian Open runner-up Andy Murray has conceded he could have played at Melbourne Park for the final time after crashing out in the first round.
Three-time grand slam winner Murray suffered a demoralising 6-4 6-2 6-2 loss to Argentina’s Tomas Martin Etcheverry on Monday, admitting “not much went right” in a “flat” performance on Kia Arena.
The 36-year-old former world No.1 has rebuilt his career since the devastating hip injury in 2017 that left him in the tennis wilderness, but is clearly inching closer towards retirement.
“It’s a definite possibility that will be the last time I play here,” Murray said.
“And yeah, I think probably because of how the match went and everything. I don’t know.
“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, tough, tough way to finish.”
Murray has long been a Melbourne Park favourite but was frustrated with his failure to use a supportive crowd to help him through.
“I felt like I didn’t give enough back and I’m disappointed with that because they have helped me a lot over the years in matches here,” he said.
“They were definitely there to try to do that again for me today. I didn’t use the crowd and their support to my advantage like I should have done.”
Murray hasn’t put a timeline on when he will retire but indicated his early exit could bring that date forward.
“Look, I have an idea of what I would probably like to finish playing. So much of that depends on how you’re playing,” he said.
“The time frame for that narrows when you play and have results like today.
“Look, I know that Tomas is a really, really good player. I’m aware of that. Even if I play well today, I can still lose the match. It’s just the nature of the performance that makes you question things.
“Yeah, I haven’t gained in belief from today’s match that at some stage I’m going to start playing really well again or winning tournaments or getting to the latter stages of major events.”
“Last year was a slightly different story. Physically I held up well against two really good players. Yeah, very different situation sitting here.”