Gallant Murray facing crunch call on hip surgery

Published by AAP

Andy Murray pushed 22nd seed Roberto Bautista Agut all the way in a five-set thriller.
The three-time Grand Slam champion hopes to curtail his career on home turf at Wimbledon later this season, but might be forced into an earlier retirement due to incessant pain from a hip injury.

After nearly pulling off one of the gutsiest comebacks of his career, Andy Murray faces an agonising decision between surgery on a chronic hip injury or a farewell match at his beloved Wimbledon.

The five-time Australian Open finalist most likely played his last match at Melbourne Park – and perhaps ever – after going down 6-4 6-4 6-7 (5) 6-7 (4) 6-2 to 22nd seed Roberto Bautista Agut on Monday night.

The 31-year-old Scot had the crowd on their feet as he mustered a rousing fightback from two sets down in an absorbing contest lasting over four-hours.

Murray came close to confirming it was his last Australian Open, telling the Melbourne Arena audience he would “maybe” see them again.

He now faces a call that could end or extend his career.

“I have basically like two options. One is to take the next four-and-a-half months off, then build up, play Wimbledon,” Murray said.

NEWS: Murray will benefit from retirement, says Nadal

“But having an operation like that, there’s absolutely no guarantees I’d be able to play again.

“That is the decision that I have to make. It will improve my quality of life, I’ll be in less pain doing normal things like walking around and putting your shoes on.”

Murray said he had left nothing on the court after nearly claiming a memorable victory from two sets down.

Video tributes for the three-time major winner from the likes of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic were played on the big screen after the match.

“If it was my last match, look, it was a brilliant way to finish,” Murray said.

“I literally gave everything that I had on the court, fought as best as I could. I’d be okay with that being my last match.”

One of the hardest trainers on the ATP tour, Murray said he regretted pushing his body to the brink and if he had his time over would do things differently.

“It’s also been a flaw of mine. Some people might say, It’s a positive thing that Andy worked really, really hard.

“But I also often didn’t stop myself when I was being told to do things.

“I would always kind of just go along with what I was being told. That was a mistake.”

Humbled by the outpouring of support from the Melbourne crowd, Murray said it would be up to others to judge his legacy.

“There’s matches here, for example, that I would love to play again, have another opportunity to do that,” he said.

“I don’t know what it will be, but I have tried my best.”

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