Great Britain's Andy Murray will make a decision over his new hip surgery next week. The former world No. 1 left the door open to returning to Melbourne Park in the future during his on-court interview after an Australian Open first round loss suffered to Roberto Bautista Agut.
The five-time Australian Open runner-up fought hard but eventually lost 6-4 6-4 6-7 (5) 6-7 (4) 6-2. Murray said during his pre-Australian Open press conference that he would love to be able to call it a career at Wimbledon in July.
"I mean, I have basically like two options. One is to take the next four and a half months off, then build up, you know, play Wimbledon. Look, I mean, although tonight was not comfortable in terms of my hip. At the end, I mean, I'm really struggling.
I can't walk properly at all just now," Murray said post-match. "I could play another match, but if I want to try to play again, I want to improve my quality of life, because even if I take four months, I still can't walk.
I'm still in pain doing just basic day-to-day things. "But having an operation like that, there's absolutely no guarantees I'd be able to play again. I'm fully aware of that. It's a really big operation.
There's no guarantees that you can come back from that. "But there is the possibility, because guys have done it before. Bob Bryan is doing it just now. Some other athletes have given it a go. But, like I said, there's no guarantees.
That's kind of the decision I have to make, that possibility of not having one more match by having the operation." Murray admitted during his pre-Australian Open press conference that the opening Grand Slam of the season might be the last tournament of his career.
Even if that was the case, Murray would still be happy. "I mean, I'll probably decide in the next week or so. But that's what I was saying the other day, that this might be my last match. If I go ahead with the operation, I don't recover well from it, then I don't play again.
I'm aware of that. That is the decision that I have to make. It will improve my quality of life, I'll be in less pain doing just, you know, normal things like walking around and putting your shoes and socks on and things," Murray said.
"Just now, like, going to walk my dogs, playing football with my friends, is like the worst thing I can think of doing. Like I hate it because it's so sore and it's uncomfortable. Yeah, waiting another five or six months to do something like that is just another, you know, period of where I'm really uncomfortable.
"Yeah, I just don't really know yet. But, you know, if today was my last match, look, it was a brilliant way to finish, as well. That's something that I'll probably take into consideration, as well. It was an amazing atmosphere.
I literally gave everything that I had on the court, fought as best as I could, and performed a lot better than what I should have done without the amount I've been able to practice and train, you know, whatever. I'd be okay with that being my last match."