With his niggling hip injury still bothering him, victory for Andy Murray was always going to be far-fetched.
"But having an operation like that, there's absolutely no guarantees I'd be able to play again".
Andy Murray put on an incredibly fearless display in a losing effort to Roberto Bautista Agut in his final ever Australian Open match and was greeted with an emotional farewell video from fellow players.
Eastbourne's Johanna Konta led the tributes to a role model who "stood up for women's tennis and women in general" after Andy Murray announced his intention to retire. But I feel like I should have done better, you know, I could have done things differently.
No. 2-ranked Angelique Kerber, the 2016 Australian Open champion, opened with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Polona Hercog and defending champion Caroline Wozniacki beat Alison Van Uytvanck 6-3, 6-4 in the first of the night matches on the main arena.
"There's matches here, for example, that I would love to play again, have another opportunity to do that", Murray said, referring to his record of reaching the Melbourne final five times but never lifting the trophy.
She eased up slightly in the second set against someone she described as "incredibly tricky", with Maria snatching two games before succumbing to inevitable defeat. The Czech doesn't feel intimidated when she heads into the court to face the 23-time Grand Slam victor. I could play another match, but.More news: A's prospect Kyler Murray declares for 2019 NFL Draft
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Nadal swatted aside the home hope Duckworth 6-4 6-3 7-5 in a performance that eased concerns over his fitness ahead of the season's first major. Novak Djokovic, who plays his first-round match on Tuesday, and Roy Emerson, also have six wins each at the Australian Open, although Emerson's wins were before the start of the Open era in 1968.
Once play began she swatted aside her opponent easily, making a mockery of her 16th seeding at this year's tournament.
Murray said he will make a decision over whether he will undergo hip surgery immediately in the next week.
In Bautista Agut, Murray found himself drawn against a player with remarkable levels of endurance, and ultimately, after a wobble, the Spaniard's superior mobility paid dividends after a match that lasted four hours and 14 minutes.
"But I know that tennis is not forever". I'm fully aware of that.
"I just don't really know yet". All of us, the players, we're extremely happy that he ended up winning Wimbledon, Davis Cup, Olympic gold.