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Andy Murray out of Australian Open: Briton talks retirement after defeat by Roberto Bautista Agut

Reaction from the first-round match at the Australian Open in Melbourne

Jack de Menezes
Monday 14 January 2019 13:22
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Emotional Andy Murray says Australian Open could be last tournament after struggling to recover from hip surgery

Andy Murray’s Australian Open is over after losing a thriller to Roberto Bautista Agut in what could be the final match of his career.

Murray is contemplating retirement due to the persistent hip injury that has blighted him for more than two years, with the three-time Grand Slam champion admitting last week that he will retire in 2019, hopefully after one last outing at Wimbledon in the summer.

But such is the pain that he is fighting, Murray could now choose to call it quits now that his Australian Open campaign has come to an end.

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What time does it start?

Murray vs Bautista Agut is due to begin not before 7am, and more likely to be around an 8am start once Kyle Edmund’s match against Tomas Berdych has completed.

Where can I watch it?

The match will be shown live on Eurosport.

Odds

Andy Murray to win: 4/1

Roberto Bautista Agut to win: 1/5

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Good morning and welcome to The Independent's live coverage of today's Australian Open first-round encounter between Andy Murray and Roberto Bautista Agut.

The match is all the more important given that it could be Murray's final outing of his career, with the three-time Grand Slam winner considering retirement as he continues to struggle with a debilitating hip injury that ruled him out of the majority of 2017.

Murray plans to try and battle through the pain to retire after Wimbledon in the summer, but last week he admitted that that may be impossible for him to do so and that he may call it quits once his Australian Open campaign comes to an end.

Jack de Menezes14 January 2019 07:03
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Has there been a more important first round match?

Monday morning's encounter between Andy Murray and Roberto Bautista Agut could well be the last time we see one of the greatest British tennis players in history on court, with Murray considering retirement from the sport after the opening Grand Slam of the year.

In a tearful and emotional press conference last week, Murray revealed that he plans to retire this year regardless of what happens, though that announcement could come either after Wimbledon in the summer, or here in Melbourne depending on how painful his injury gets.

Here's how the news broke last Friday:

Jack de Menezes14 January 2019 07:24
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We're having to wait for Murray at the moment as the man who replaced him as British No 1, Kyle Edmund, is currently trying to make a fight of it against Tomas Berdych.

Edmund made a horrendously slow start as he lost the first set 6-3 before being beaten 6-0 in the second, but as they approach the end of the third, Edmund is 6-5 behind and needing to break Berdych's serve to keep the tie alive.

Once the match is complete, we'll hopefully see Murray and Bautista Agut emerge onto the Hisense Arena - I say hopefully because Murray is not looking too mobile in the warm-up area.

Jack de Menezes14 January 2019 07:29
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GAME, SET AND MATCH

It's three and easy for Tomas Berdych as he beats Kyle Edmund in straight sets 6-4, 6-0, 7-5 to reach the second round of the Australian Open for the 14th consecutive year.

It's another disappointment for British hopes as Edmund, the British No 1, follows Harriet Dart and Heather Watson out of the draw.

Next up, it's time for Andy Murray.

Jack de Menezes14 January 2019 07:33
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And here they come!

Murray emerges to a huge reception for what could be the final time. He looks calm, yet has his head down and gives the crowd a solitary wave before taking his seat to prepare for the match.

The match is also a huge occasion for Bautista Agut, who needs to find a way to take the obvious emotion out of the match and not get lulled into the crowd's desire to see Murray's career go on.

Jack de Menezes14 January 2019 07:48
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Jack de Menezes14 January 2019 07:50
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So how does Murray look?

He's able to get into a light job as he hits overhead volleys back to Bautista Agut, but this of course is only the warm-up and will be nothing compared to what he will be required to do when the match kicks of...which is a matter of moments away.

Strap yourselves in, the possible Andy Murray farewell begins now.

Jack de Menezes14 January 2019 07:53
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There's a healthy support for Murray in the crowd, with plenty of Scottish and British flags dotted around the Hisense Arena and an Andy Murray chant to tune of DJ Otzi's 'Hey Baby' ringing out.

The two players emerge to get the match underway and it's Murray to serve first.

Jack de Menezes14 January 2019 07:55
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*Murray 1-0 Bautista AgutMurray looks mobile enough on the opening point as he engages in a strong rally, but when he goes for a winner down the right tramline he pushes it long and Baustista Agut seizes the early advantage.

The response is good, with the next serve unreturned before being followed by an ace, but when the Spaniard forces him wide Murray is nowhere near making the return and that's a worry. Murray wins the next point with an unforced error from Bautista Agut, and when he fires his return into the net Murray takes the first game.

And we were all panicking...

Jack de Menezes14 January 2019 07:59
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Murray 1-1 Bautista Agut*Two unreturned serves from Bautista Agut quickly puts him 30-0 up, and although he's pushing the first serve to try and force Murray wide, he's looking in good nick.

Murray gets himself into the third point and goes for a cross-court winner, and when the "OUT" call comes he challenges immediately. There's a whisker in it, but it's the correct call and Murray follows up bu firing an easy winner long for Bautista Agut to hold-to-love.

Jack de Menezes14 January 2019 08:02

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