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Murray out of Australian Open, Wawrinka loses to Mannarino in five

If Monday marked Andy Murray’s last match at the Australian Open, it was an unceremonious exit.

Murray, a five-time runner-up at Melbourne Park, lost to Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 in a surprisingly one-sided first-round contest. The 36-year-old Scot bowed out after just two hours and 23 minutes–a far cry from the five-hour marathons that we have been accustomed to seeing from her at this tournament.

Afterward, there was no sugarcoating on Murray’s part.

“It’s a definite possibility that will be the last time I play here,” the former world No. 1 admitted. “In comparison to the matches that I played here last year, it’s the complete opposite feeling walking off the court. Yeah, wish I involved the crowd more. Just disappointed with the way I played…. (It’s) a tough, tough way to finish.

“It was really just a flat performance. I don’t know exactly why that was the case because I’ve been feeling good going in–played pretty well in Brisbane; practiced really well the last 10 days or so…. Today the crowd all showed up again and gave me brilliant support. I didn’t give enough. I felt like I didn’t give enough back and I’m disappointed with that because they have helped me a lot over the years in matches here.

“I have an idea of when I would probably like to finish playing. So much of that depends on how you’re playing. The time frame for that narrows when you play and have results like today.”

Fellow three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka also lost, albeit in much different fashion. The 38-year-ols Swiss pushed an in-form Adrian Mannarino to five sets before falling 6-4, 3-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-0.

Unsurprisingly, Wawrinka was much more upbeat than Murray.

“It was a bit tough at the end,” he said. “Couldn’t really push myself more. I didn’t do the work I wanted in the offseason because I got injured in the last tournament. So it was a race a bit to come back here. But I’m quite happy with the 10 days I had here; I had some good practice. Today was a good level in general. I’m just sad with the result.

“In general, I’m quite positive with where I am right now. Even after the loss, I think there is some good opportunity for me to keep pushing, keep playing (with) some good results, and hopefully I can come back next year.”

Another major champion, 2020 U.S. Open winner Dominic Thiem, joined Murray and Wawrinka on the sidelines. Thiem showed signs of staging a comeback against Felix Auger-Aliassime but ultimately succumbed 6-3, 7-5, 6-7(5), 5-7, 6-3. The match lasted four hours and 59 minutes and ended after 1:30 am local time.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on Twitter at @Dimonator.