‘Never seen a player look so “done” in the first set’: Tennis fans watch on as Andy Murray looks ‘in pain’ struggling with his metal hip after losing first set to Roberto Bautista Agut… before valiant effort sees him lose in four sets to Spaniard
Tennis fans flocked to social media as Andy Murray took on Roberto Bautista Agut in the Australian Open third round on Saturday, with the Scot visibly struggling with his hip before losing in four sets to the Spaniard.
The former world No 1 – who is the last Brit standing – quickly found himself a set down to Bautista Agut on Saturday morning inside 29 minutes, and his hip was causing him clear problems early on in the encounter.
Murray has had issues with his hip after developing osteoarthritis and has undergone surgeries several times, including a resurfacing operation – but that did not stop him recording a stunning five-set win over Thanasi Kokkinakis.
Tennis fans on Twitter were quick to point out that Andy Murray looked in considerable discomfort
Tennis fans at home were left wincing early on in the encounter with the 24th seed, and the three-time Grand Slam winner was seen holding his lower back on several occasions in the blistering first set.
Murray was seen holding his lower back and hip in pain during the match
The Scot is known for his ability to play through the pain barrier and pursue victory seemingly regardless of the physical toll it could take.
Supporters were quick point out that the Scot was in trouble, with one writing on Twitter: ‘Murray looks in pain ngl.’
A second echoed the sentiment, with: ‘Murray looks like he’s in pain and really struggling to even move #AusOpen2023.’
Another suggested both Murray and Bautista Agut would rather the former world No 1 was fully fit: ‘I’m sure Roberto Bautista Agut would rather be playing fully recovered Andy Murray rather than the shell of a former grand slam champion that must have had minimal sleep the other night.’
A fourth viewer claimed that Murray’s dogged hard-work whilst suffering was a sign of his greatness, writing: ‘Andy Murray is in so much pain. This dude is a goat.’
The former world No 1 came into the match off the back of consecutive five-set thrillers
For a fifth, Murray’s success despite his debilitating hip injury was an inspiration, adding: ‘Watching @andymurray vs Agut. As someone in their 40s with a troublesome hip it’s inspirational to see someone come though it and perform at an elite level.’
And a sixth fan thought Murray looked ‘physically done’ after the opening exchanges of the match, stating: ‘Andy Murray looks like he’s already run a marathon this morning. I’ve never seen a player look so physically “done” in a first set of tennis. Come on Andy, dig deep.’
But for other tennis fans, a set down in 29 minutes was still too early to suggest that Murray would lose the game – especially after he came back from 5-2 down in the third set to Kokkinakis only two days before.
The Scot has been plagued by osteoarthritis in his hip and has had several surgeries to help recover from the issue including a resurfacing operation
One fan joked: ‘Andy Murray has lost the first set so he has Bautista Agut right where he wants him,’ followed by a laughing emoji.
Another claimed that Murray was forcing a marathon five-setter again: ‘Andy Murray’s plan to make Roberto Bautista Agut go 5 sets has started off well.’
And a last fan praised the Scot’s spirit in the face of defeat, and felt that Murray would still somehow find a way to win, writing: ‘Andy Murray looks exhausted, but somehow I believe he can win this. Testament to his ‘never say die’ lionheart character.’
However it was not to be, as Murray ultimately succumbed to a four-set defeat at the hands of the 24th seed, failing at the last hurdle to reach the fourth round at a major for the first time in six years.