Andrew Murray won the Australian Open after a great effort
Andy Murray’s fairytale run at the Australian Open came to an end on Saturday after he was beaten by Roberto Bautista Agut.
The three-time grand slam winner has delighted the crowd in Melbourne this year by rolling back the years to win two marathon matches, but Bautista Agut was a step too far.
The Spaniard won in four sets – 6-1 6-7 (7-9) 6-3 6-4 – and looked delighted to finally find a way past his opponent when he won e game point.
Murray had spent more than 10.5 hours on the court going into the match in the third round and it was difficult for him to move at points.
The 35-year-old needed five sets to beat Matteo Berrettini in the first round of the tournament and then rallied from two sets down to beat Thanasi Kokkinakis in a massive five-hour tournament and 45 minutes and finished at 4.05am. The second round match, which ended on Friday morning, was the longest of Murray’s career.
It was not surprising, then, that Murray looked tired as he struggled to get hold of the first set which was over before it really started.
But, as he has done throughout his career, Murray dug deep and rallied from a break down in the second set to win a stunning tiebreak.
It was another example of the courage and determination that Murray brings to the sport of tennis but, this time, it was not enough.
The grueling second set seemed to take its toll on Murray as Bautista Agut led for the rest of the game.
Murray did not go away though, and continued to punish his opponent until the end and produced a series of amazing shots.
After losing a match point, Murray received a standing ovation from the crowd as he walked off the court.
The pair had previously met at Margaret Court Arena in 2019 in what was supposed to be Murray’s last match at the grand slam.
But the veteran was determined to continue his career and, after undergoing numerous treatments for injuries, Murray has proved he still has more to give four years on.
“2 days ago I randomly bumped into the doctor who told me in 2017 ‘the good news is that your hip problem is fixed but you won’t be able to play professional sports play again.’ I think we dispelled that myth in the last 5 days,” Murray fall after the game on Saturday.
Bautista Agut will now play American Tommy Paul in the last 16.
“It’s always difficult to play Andy,” Bautista Agut said in his on-court interview.
“He knows very well how to play a grand slam game. I’m happy with how I handled the nerves and the tension during the match, to play good tennis. I’m very happy with the win.”