Australian Open

Murray pondering tennis future after early exit

Loss: Andy Murray

Andy Murray’s retirement from tennis has edged closer after his first-round exit at the Australian Open.

The Scot was dismissed in straight sets by 30th seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-4 6-2 6-2, only the second time since 2008 that he has been knocked out at this early stage of the tournament.

The 36-year-old cut a dejected figure as he trooped off court at Melbourne Park and admitted afterwards that he may not be back.

“It’s a definite possibility that will be the last time I play here,” he said. “I think probably because of how the match went and everything.

“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, and like this’.

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

Five years ago Murray went out in the first round to Roberto Bautista, and in the wake of that defeat he spoke of the hip injury which was threatening his career.

Successful hip surgery has since given the three-time Grand Slam winner a new lease of life, although it now just seems a matter of time before he hangs up his racket for good.

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