Australian Open: Andy Murray battles back but falls to Roberto Bautista Agut in possible last match
Bautista Agut and Murray share a warm handshake at the net (Fred Lee/Getty Images)

Australian Open: Andy Murray battles back but falls to Roberto Bautista Agut in possible last match

The clear highlight of the first day saw Murray battle it out with Bautista Agut in a five set thriller.

notfirstnoel
Noel John Alberto

Empty the tank. Three words that have defined Andy Murray's career. If this was his last match, then even with a loss, this was some way to go out if you were him. At times, you forgot he even had a hip injury. At times, you didn't even know this was a first round Australian Open match with the electric atmosphere in Melbourne Arena. 

The scoreline says Roberto Bautista Agut won 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-7(4), 6-2 and will advance but on the day, both men were winners.

Chances But Just Short

The first signs of trouble for Murray took place in the fifth game starting 0-30 down. Bautista Agut went for it all on a cross-court forehand but just missed the line which was the beginning of four straight points for Murray.

The Brit had the first break opportunity of the set after setting up the previous point with a backhand slice which wound up drawing the error from the Spaniard. Murray was frustrated himself, missing that opportunity to go ahead and would become even more flustered after getting broken before dropping the first set.

The second set saw Murray get break chances on the Spaniard's serve after a beautiful short-angled return and a forehand winner down the line set up two break points in the second game. It was more frustration for Murray who couldn't convert once again.

Relentless. That's the style Bautista Agut plays with in terms of his ground game, and that netted him the lead in the second set at 3-2 after some tremendous defense. The ball striking from the Spaniard seemed to be too much as Murray could not break him down with the Spaniard going up two sets to love.

The Bautista Agut forehand was a weapon all day (Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
The Bautista Agut forehand was a weapon all day (Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The Warrior Within

Down a break in the third, Murray showed that heart he's known for, clawing back from 30-0 down on the Bautista Agut serve to break. From 30-40 down, the former five-time finalist pulled out some spectacular winners to grab a massive hold for 5-4. A missed swinging volley gave Murray the opening he needed in the tiebreak and took it with a strong 1-2 for his first set.

There was little in it in the fourth set with neither man holding a break point opportunity. Murray's aggressive play style earned him a handful of break points after going up 6-1. It was no issue for Murray who would force the fifth set.

Murray looked like he was gassed in the fifth set after taxing himself to make the comeback. If you add that in with Bautista Agut's shots that forced the Brit around the court, it doomed trouble for Murray. Still, it was one heck of an effort for Murray.

Andy Murray roars after taking set four over Bautista Agut (Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Andy Murray roars after taking set four over Bautista Agut (Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Possible Return?

On-court, a montage of Murray's career was played despite saying there was a possible chance for him to return. He added to that in his press conference saying that surgery is an option, and he may decide to come back after surgery since it would put his Wimbledon goodbye this year in major doubt.

Whilst he was unable to walk, Murray said he could definitely play another match which may bode well for a potential return.

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