Andy Murray admitted he will consider quitting for good if he doesn’t improve in Grand Slams after a shocking defeat at the Australian Open. The former world No. 1 suffered his worst major loss ever in terms of rankings when he went down 6-4 6-4 6-4 to world No. 120 Taro Daniel.
And the Scotsman, who turns 35 in May, has now won just four games in five Grand Slams since his hip hardening surgery following his last appearance here in 2019. Then he burst into tears during his pre-tournament press conference because he was scared. was before his career was over due to chronic hip pain.
Three years and a new hip later, the five-time finalist was asked if he would return to Melbourne Park in 2022. “Yeah, I mean, yeah,” he said. “But not if I do too many times this season what I did tonight.
This is a very important year for me for a number of reasons and I want to perform well in the big events. In that regard, tonight is not good enough for me. Making it to the second round of Slams is not something I find particularly motivating. I want to do better than that. I am really, really disappointed. Very frustrated. Heavy loss for me. That’s for sure.
“I’m not sure if I’ve ever lost a game to someone who was out of 100 in a slam. So from that point of view it’s not a big loss for me.”
The lowest-ranked player to beat Murray in a Grand Slam ahead of Daniel was world number 91 Arnaud Clement in the second round of the 2005 US Open.
The Scot claimed he felt “physically OK”, but that makes yesterday’s sluggish performance even worse. It was a real anti-climax after reaching the final in Sydney last week and this opening win over number 21 seed Basilashvili. Then Murray felt he finally had a chance to go into the tournament on a “deep run”.
Instead, his serve was broken five times by a qualifier, taking just two of his 11 break points. The Japanese journeyman attacked the Scot’s second serve and fired over 46 winners in his inspired performance.
Murray threw his racket into the net in frustration – and was cautioned for racket from French umpire Aurelie Tourte – when he was broken for the last time at 4-4.
And Daniel took his first match point after two hours and 48 minutes with his first serve-and-volley of the match
Before returning to action in Doha and Dubai next month, he will have to think twice, including whether he will permanently appoint German coach Jan De Witt.
First, he returns to his wife Kim and their four children. “I can go home now and spend some time with them,” he said.
“My family has been a little sick for the past week. If that’s the case, you naturally want to be there to help and feel like you’re contributing.”