The manner of the defeat, coupled by Murray appearing to wave goodbye to the Melbourne crowd afterwards, again fuelled rumours he’s set to walk away from the sport. His career appeared over back in 2019, before a second bout of hip surgery – which involved an artificial implant into the star’s body – revitalised his career.
The Scot has publicly been non-committal over his future, and is almost certain to appear at SW19 again this summer for what many perceive will be his last Wimbledon. But Laura Robson, now working as a pundit for Sky Sports, has revealed that Murray already knows which event will potentially signify his final bow.
“I know Andy has a date in mind or a tournament in mind that he wants to finish up his career, but I feel like he’ll tell us when he’s ready to say it,” she wrote in her online column. “And the fact that he hasn’t yet means to me that he’s maybe not 100 per cent sure of what he wants to do.
“I feel like we’ve done the guessing game with just about every other top player who’s almost on the way out, looking like they’re about to retire and I’m kind of a bit over it. People will call it a day when they want to, rather than everyone asking them, week after week, when it’s going to happen.”
Robson added that the three-time Grand Slam champion will be disappointed with his poor performance Down Under, especially given the plus points that came from his previous defeat against Grigor Dimitrov at the Brisbane Open. And she added Murray could be in action as early as next week at the Open Sud de France.
“I know he’s down to play in Montpellier,” added Robson. “I’m not sure if he’ll play in the end, but the good thing was the day after the match, he was on the practice courts at Melbourne Park striking a few balls before his flight home. Just the fact that he wanted to get out there was a really good sign.”
Indeed, Murray is currently listed as the fifth seed for the indoor tournament. Fellow British player Jack Draper has withdrawn from the event though, replaced by home player Hugo Gaston.
The 2012 Olympic champion has consistently said he will hang up his racket if he doesn’t feel he’s able to compete in Grand Slam events. Not since Wimbledon in 2017 has he reached the second week of a major event, bowing out at the quarter-final stage.