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Andy Murray casts doubt on returning to Australian Open after disappointing defeat

Andy Murray casts doubt on returning to Australian Open after disappointing defeat
The 34-year-old Murray suggested he will only return to Melbourne if he feels he can go deep into the second week

Andy Murray hinted this could be his final Australian Open unless he proves to himself that he can compete at the highest level this season.

Murray fell to a disappointing straight-sets defeat against Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel in the second round at Melbourne Park on Thursday, and the Scot cut a dejected figure in his post-match press conference.

The 34-year-old overcame career-threatening injury over the past three years to make his first appearance at the Australian Open since 2019, back when he left the tournament in tears announcing he was likely to retire. But he suggested he will only return to Melbourne again if he feels he can go deep into the second week.

"Je veux dire, Oui,” Murray responded when asked whether he would like to be back next year. “But not if I do what I did tonight too often this season. This is a really important year for me for a number of reasons and I want to perform well in the big events. Pour moi, tonight is not good enough in that respect.

“Making second rounds of slams is not something I find particularly motivating. I want to be doing better than that. It depends on how I get on this year results wise and how I perform in the big events. I’m really, really disappointed. Very frustrated. A tough loss for me that’s for sure.”

Murray lost only five games in a best-of-five-set Davis Cup encounter against Daniel in their only previous encounter, and he had never lost to anyone ranked above No 91 at a major tournament. But Daniel, a 28-year-old qualifier from Japan, broke in the ninth game of the third set to take a 5-4 lead and then served it out to advance to the third round of a major for the first time.

The 34-year-old Murray, a five-time runner-up in Australia, was playing on a wild-card entry. Murray’s win over 21st-seeded Nikoloz Basilashvili in the first round was his first at the Australian Open since 2017. Injuries and illness kept him out in 2018 (hip), 2020 (pelvis) et 2021 (Covid-19), and he lost a five-setter in the first round in 2019, which many thought might have been his last in Australia.

Rapports supplémentaires par AP