MELBOURNE :Andy Murray has enjoyed plenty of deep runs at Melbourne Park but the five-times runner-up was left wondering if this Australian Open would be his last after being dumped out in the first round on Monday.
Murray, who lost 6-4 6-2 6-2 to Tomas Martin Etcheverry, last went out in the opening round in Melbourne in 2019 when the Scot expressed doubts about his future in the sport before going on to resurrect his career after having hip-resurfacing surgery.
The 36-year-old twice Wimbledon champion has struggled to reach the latter stages of majors in recent years but dragged himself into the third round at Melbourne Park in 2023 with back-to-back five-sets wins.
After his latest defeat, however, Murray said there was “a definite possibility” that it would be the last time he plays on the blue courts of Melbourne.
“Probably because of how the match went and everything, I don’t know,” he said. “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. Yeah, 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, so … Yeah, tough, tough way to finish.”
Stan Wawrinka, the 2014 champion, also went out in the first round on Monday, taking 20th seed Adrian Mannarino to five sets before going down 6-4 3-6 5-7 6-3 6-0.
Wawrinka was the only player in the men’s draw other than defending champion Novak Djokovic to have claimed the Melbourne Park trophy and the 38-year-old Swiss hoped Monday’s loss would not be his final appearance at the Grand Slam.
“I’ll see how the year goes. It’s just the beginning of the year,” Wawrinka said. “In general, I’m quite positive with where I am right now.
“Even after the loss, there is some good opportunity for me to keep pushing, keep playing some good results and hopefully I can come back next year.”