Emotional Andy Murray reveals extent of his pain after Australian Open exit

Andy Murray Credit: Alamy
Andy Murray Credit: Alamy

Andy Murray struggled to contain his emotions as he spoke to the media as his remarkable story at the 2023 Australian Open came to an end.

The Scot was back at the scene of his late-night heroics against Thanasi Kokkinakis, having done his best to recover from the five-hour, 45-minute epic in which he came back from two sets down to claim victory at 4.05am.

Coupled with a near five-hour first-round win against Matteo Berrettini, Murray had spent 10 hours and 34 minutes on court just making it through to the last 32.

To begin with, it appeared he would offer little resistance but he willed himself into the match and improbably took the second set before Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut claimed a 6-1 6-7 (7) 6-3 6-4 victory after three hours and 29 minutes.

When asked whether his run to the third round at the Australian Open was enough to continue to battle to extend his career, the three-time Grand Slam champion appeared to well up as he looked towards the end date of his career.

“You never know when the end is going to be, but I would like to go out playing tennis like this where I’m competing with the best players in the world at the biggest events and going myself justice,” he said.

“In the last year, I didn’t feel like I was playing well and I didn’t enjoy the way I was playing.

“The sacrifices and the effort I have put in allowed me to play at a high level that was entertaining for the people watching and I enjoyed the way I was playing.

“Coming into a major event and believing I can do some damage is great, but I can have a long run than a third round at a Slam.

“If I was playing at this level last year, I probably wouldn’t be ranked at 50 in the world.”

Murray went on to reveal his biggest problem against Bautista Agut, with his serve holding him back as he fought his physical battle.

“It’s been difficult since the Kokkinakis match,” he continued. “I had blisters that needed to be drained and didn’t sleep enough, so it wasn’t ideal.

“Serving was the thing that was giving me the most trouble in this match.

“My back was uncomfortable. I couldn’t extend up on my serve. I couldn’t get a kick serve or extend my back to generate much power on the first serve. I wasn’t able to drive up to it.

“Once I was in rallies, it wasn’t too bad. After I got up after sitting down at the changes, the first couple of serves didn’t feel great.”

Murray went through his story since his remarkable match against Kokkinakis, as he spoke about the physical battle he tried and, ultimately, failed to overcome.

“I gave everything I had to this event and I’m proud of that,” he added.

“You can’t always control the result, but you can control the effort you put into it. I gave everything I had the last three matches and I’m very proud of that.

“I’m also disappointed because I put loads of work into the start of this season and could have had a really deep run.

“I was playing against a guy who is No 20 in the world and it was very tight, so I’m disappointed because I feel like I could have gone a lot further.

“My movement here was really good and when I do that, it allows me to play a game style that’s most effective for me.

“I finished a lot of points at the net and that’s really positive for me. I also finished a lot of points with winners, so there are a number of things I was pleased with.”

 

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