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On bad hip, Andy Murray out in 1st round of Australian Open

If this used to be it for Andy Murray, if this in reality used to be it, he gave himself — and an appreciative, raucous crowd that integrated his mom and brother — rather a gutsy good-bye, the kind of never-give-in efficiency he is well-known for.

What Murray may now not rather do Monday on the Australian Open used to be end off a stirring comeback and lengthen what may simply be the overall event of his occupation.

Enjoying on a surgically repaired proper hip so painful that pulling on socks is a chore, he summoned the energy and strokes to erase a large deficit and power a 5th set ahead of in the end succumbing to 22nd-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut 6-Four, 6-Four, 6-7 (Five), 6-7 (Four), 6-2, Murray’s first opening-round loss at a Grand Slam event in 11 years.

“If this used to be my final fit … I gave actually the entirety I had,” Murray advised a complete area at Melbourne Enviornment, his voice shaking. “It wasn’t sufficient this night.”

Murray, simply 31, is a yr got rid of from the operation, and he introduced within the days main as much as the Australian Open that he’ll retire in 2019. The largest looming query is whether or not he’s going to be capable of make it to July for Wimbledon, the place he received two of his 3 primary titles, together with the primary for a British guy in 77 years.

He had raised the chance that he may now not be capable of proceed previous this week, despite the fact that he did go away slightly of room for himself after Monday’s fit, announcing: “Possibly I’m going to see you once more. I’m going to do the entirety imaginable to check out. If I need to move once more, I’m going to wish to have a large operation (and) there is not any promises I’m going to be capable of come again, anyway.”

Even with a hitch in his gait, whilst he leaned ahead to leisure his fingers on his knees between issues, Murray summoned the energy and the strokes to push the fit past the Four-hour mark.

And the fanatics attempted to will him previous Bautista Agut, who had misplaced in immediately units all 3 earlier fits the 2 males had performed.

They roared when Murray controlled to damage again to 2-all on the right way to taking the 3rd set, together with his mother, Judy, smiling extensively as she stood along different spectators.

They chanted his title when he grabbed the fourth set.

They rose when the compelling contest ended.

“Andy merits this setting. Andy merits (that) the entire other people got here to look at him,” Bautista Agut mentioned. “He is a tricky, difficult fighter. A tricky opponent. He provides the entirety till the final level. I need to congratulate him for all he did for tennis.”

In a while, a video used to be proven within the stadium with tributes to Murray from more than a few gamers, together with opponents Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, together with Nick Kyrgios, Caroline Wozniacki, Karolina Pliskova and Sloane Stephens.

“Superb occupation. Congratulations, friend,” Federer mentioned. “I am your largest fan.”

Federer opened his bid for a 3rd consecutive Australian Open championship, and report 7th total, with a 6-Three, 6-Four, 6-Four victory over Denis Istomin at Rod Laver Enviornment. Nadal, whose 17 occupation majors are 2nd amongst males handiest to Federer’s 20, overpowered Australian wild-card access James Duckworth 6-Four, 6-Three, 7-Five previous.

Nadal, who had surgical procedure on his proper ankle in November, hadn’t competed since preventing right through his U.S. Open semifinal in September as a result of a nasty knee.

“It is very tricky to start out (once more) after an harm,” Nadal mentioned. “I understand it really well.”

Different primary name winners who complex on Day 1, when the temperature approached 90 levels (33 Celsius), integrated protecting champion Caroline Wozniacki, Maria Sharapova — who beat Harriet Dart 6-Zero, 6-Zero — Angelique Kerber, Sloane Stephens and Petra Kvitova.

The top-seeded participant to go out used to be No. nine John Isner, who hit 47 aces however misplaced 7-6 (Four), 7-6 (6), 6-7 (Four), 7-6 (Five) towards 97th-ranked Reilly Opelka in an all-American fit.

Probably the most consideration, although, used to be drawn by way of Murray, who’s as standard for his good fortune at the courtroom as his angle clear of it.

The stands had been dotted with British and Scottish flags and with indicators of fortify. When Bautista Agut entered, he used to be greeted by way of a smattering of well mannered applause. When Murray used to be offered, there have been full-throated screams, adopted by way of chants of his first title.

As play started, Murray extremely joyful his well-wishers each so frequently with terrific pictures on a complete dash and his trademark, quick-reflex returns. When he flubbed a shot or another way let some extent slide by way of, Murray displayed the muttering and leg-slapping self-contempt the arena has come to understand and be expecting — and, let’s accept it, love — from the man.

For all that Murray achieved through the years, together with attaining No. 1 within the ratings and 2 Olympic singles gold medals, he by no means used to be in a position to go away Melbourne with the trophy, completing because the runner-up 5 instances.

When Murray in the end succumbed to his weariness — to not point out Bautista Agut — the world audio system blared Queen’s “We’re the Champions,” with its becoming line: “And we will stay on combating ’til the tip.”

If this used to be, certainly, the tip, Murray did simply that.

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Extra AP Tennis: https://www.apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

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