Andy Murray produced a exceptional first-round comeback Monday at the Australian Open, however Roberto Bautista Agut bounced the three-time Grand Slam champion in what might be the ultimate match of his profession.
Murray was in tears when he introduced final week that he deliberate to retire after Wimbledon this yr however admitted he might not be capable of play past the primary main of the yr due to a power hip damage.
The hobbling former world No. 1 confirmed unimaginable spirit to rally from two units down earlier than Bautista Agut turned the tide within the decider to win an epic battle, 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, on Melbourne Area.
Bautista Agut — on a excessive after successful the Qatar Open — had by no means taken a set off Murray of their earlier three conferences however appeared set for a cushty victory till the Brit got here storming again.
An exhausted Murray ran out of steam within the remaining set with the composed Bautista Agut nonetheless wanting recent as he lastly ended what is predicted to be the five-time runner-up’s final look within the first main of the yr. Bautista Agut will meet John Millman within the second spherical.
The gang rose after the pair fought it out for 4 hours and 9 minutes Monday, hitting 103 winners between them in an enthralling contest.
In his final #AusOpen match, Andy Murray fights extremely arduous to comeback from two units down in excessive ache however falls simply brief.
Roberto Bautista Agut wins 4-6 4-6 7-6(5) 7-6(4) 2-6. pic.twitter.com/CoiObtKQue
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 14, 2019
Murray was given a rousing ovation when he stepped out on court docket and began with a battling maintain, but it surely was the Spaniard who claimed the one break in a decent first set.
Bautista Agut saved a break level earlier than leveling at 4-Four and served out the set after Murray thudded a forehand into the online, having been labored backward and forward in a earlier level which the world No. 24 received with an beautiful cease volley.
There have been roars from the gang after a few elegant forehand winners from Murray in Bautista Agut’s first service sport of the second set, however the Scot was left annoyed after failing to win two break factors.
A prowling Bautista Agut charged in to retrieve a drop shot and swatted away an overhead volley as he went a break up and Murray was shaking his head after sending a backhand crashing into the online to reward his opponent a set level, which he received emphatically with an ace.
Bautista Agut continued to pounce on the Murray serve, returning with vigor as he went a break up at 2-1 within the third, however the former world primary confirmed his preventing spirit to hit straight again with a backhand down the road.
Murray pumped his fist and whipped the gang right into a frenzy following what was his first break and there was extra of the identical after he held for a 5-Four lead, having saved a break level.
The Olympic champion’s celebrations had been reduce brief when Bautista Agut efficiently challenged on set level after his second serve was known as out, however Murray exclaimed once more after successful a tie-break to lengthen the match courtesy of mini-breaks secured with a fragile backhand slice and a drive volley.
— ATP Tour (@ATP_Tour) January 14, 2019
There have been grimaces from Murray as he limped between factors however continued to dig in, neither participant giving the opposite a look-in on serve in a tense fourth set which at all times appeared destined for an additional breaker.
It was the gang favourite who held his nerve once more to take it the space, Bautista Agut netting a sliced return after successful three factors in a row from 6-1 down.
Murray confirmed unimaginable protection to win some extent within the second sport of the ultimate set, however he was a break down at 2-1 after netting a backhand.
Bautista Agut continued to work a weary Murray backward and forward as he ran away with it, breaking once more for a 4-1 lead and serving out the match to see the again of top-of-the-line gamers within the trendy period — who was given a standing ovation earlier than his remaining service sport.
Bautista Agut  bt Murray 6-Four 6-Four 6-7 (5-7) 6-7 (4-7) 6-2
Bautista Agut – 53/37
Murray – 50/51
Bautista Agut – 7/0
Murray – 19/2
BREAK POINTS WON
Bautista Agut – 5/10
FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Bautista Agut – 73
Murray – 60
PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Bautista Agut – 83/60
Murray – 80/49
Bautista Agut – 164
Murray – 139