Broken dreams: Andy Murray bravely exits 2019 Australian Open at 1st round after heroic fightback

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Despite a plucky effort, British tennis great Andy Murray has exited the season’s opening Grand Slam at the first-round stage of the Australian Open, losing to Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut in five sets at Hisense Arena on Monday.

The Spaniard, the tournament’s 22nd-seed, was made to work for the win against the two-time Wimbledon and three-time Grand Slam champion, who had earlier announced his impending retirement, choosing next summer’s grass court championship in London as his stage to step away from tennis.

The 31-year-old, who is also a five-time Australian Open finalist, didn’t go down without a fight, eventually succumbing 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 7-5, 7-5, 6-2, showing trademark grit to battle back in the third set tiebreak to peg back Bautista and then win the fourth to push him all the way to a fifth set for victory.

However, a fifth set proved too much of an ask for Murray, who was eventually eliminated from the tournament, which will potentially be his final appearance on the international circuit, by a whitewash in the final set.

Also on ‘The pain is too much’: Tearful tennis star Murray announces impending retirement

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