Gutsy Andy Murray fought to the end before losing an epic farewell game at the Australian Open 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-7 (4/7) by Roberto Bautista Agut on Monday.
The Scot, who said he will retire this season because of the chronic pain of the hip, seemed to have finished in two sets and a break in the 22nd Spaniards seeded in the first round, but somehow he fought to force a fifth set.
Murray announced at an exciting press conference Friday that he would retire to Wimbledon this year, but admitted that the Australian Open could be his last tournament, so big were his injury problems.
But he left the window open for a return after a game in which he showed that his fighting spirit had not diminished.
The in-form Bautista Agut had beaten the world number one Novak Djokovic on the road to win the Qatar Open at the start of the month and kept the game under his control, taking two sets to love the lead. Murray then dug deep into the roaring crowd, winning the third and fourth set in tie-break.
Once Bautista Agut broke the fifth, Murray's resolution eventually crumbled and the Spaniard took it 6-2.
Defeat could mean that Murray could no longer be seen on a tennis court, but the fighter he is, Murray promised to keep trying. But in all likelihood, this may be the last time we see Sir Andy in action at Melbourne Park in the first Major of the year.
The tributes were poured out on social media for the man who has been involved in many epic tennis games in his career.
However, not everyone was very impressed by the tribute video that was played by the organizers of the Australian Open at the end.