With two hip surgeries behind him, the Scotsman came into the duel against the Spaniard after two epic victories and more than 10 hours of play on his legs.
The Spanish Roberto Bautista Agutnumber 25 in the world, eliminated the Scottish veteran in the third round this Saturday Andy Murraygreat protagonist of the Australian Open after two epic victories in five sets.
Having played half the hours in the tournament as his rival, with ten and a half hours in the legsthe Spanish tennis player imposed his physical freshness to beat the former number one in the world by 6-1, 6-7 (7/9), 6-3, 6-4.
After a marathon second-round match that ended at 4 a.m. local time, Murray struggled to get into the game against Bautista, who went on a 14-1 run on points early on.
With two service breaks, the 34-year-old Spaniard claimed the first set in just 28 minutes and put the ground back in the middle with a quick break in the second set.
However, Murray’s slow combustion engine began to carburete and to make the public dream, clearly in their favorwith a new battle to five sets.
With still visible injuries to his arm and leg from round one, the Scotsman he put on the survivor suit and returned the break to Bautista and saved two set points in the tie-break to end up taking the set.
But the gasoline three-time Grand Slam winner he was exhausted and, although willful, he ended up giving up the serve at the decisive moment of the third set, giving Bautista the chance to serve with 5-3 in favor.
Stoic, the Spaniard made no mistake and making Murray run from one side of the track to the other closed the set.
History repeated itself in the final set, in which Bautista got a break in the penultimate game and ended the feat of the Scotsman in Melbourne.
The last image of the two-time Olympic champion showed him limping on his way to the locker room, showing signs of the tremendous wear and tear he suffered throughout the week.
“I’ve surprised myself, really,” Murray said after his debut in Australia with a win over Berrettini. And he added: “I’m usually hard on myself, but I have to give myself credit because the last few years have been very hard.”
Those hard years that the man born in Glasgow were a consequence of problems in the right hipwhich began in 2017, forced him to undergo surgery for the first time in 2018 (the year he fell out of the top 800) and led him to seriously consider hanging up the racket early the following year, when the pain was barely leaving him. walk.
Bautista Agut, joy and stick to the public
“Always playing against Andy in a Grand Slam is very tough. He knows the game, he knows very well how to play a Grand Slam match, but I am very happy with how I have managed the pressure and nerves“said the Spaniard, somewhat annoyed with the public.
“Today there was a lot of love for Andy. I hope that in the next round there will be a little more for me,” he added wryly.
Bautista, the only Spaniard alive in Melbourne, will fight the American on Monday Tommy Paul for a quarter-final berth, which would equal his best result in Australia in 2019.
On that occasion, the man from Castellón also beat an Andy Murray with numerous physical problems in the first round.