Murray’s 10 memorable Melbourne moments

Features

Andy Murray dropped a bombshell at Australian Open 2019 on Friday, the three-time Grand Slam winner announcing he is set to call time on his glittering career, preferably on home turf at Wimbledon this year. 

MORE: ‘I can’t keep doing this’: Murray’s tearful admission

Murray’s name features prominently in the recent history of the first major of the season, with the 31-year-old finishing runner-up at the Australian Open five times since 2010. 

While the ultimate success at Melbourne Park has eluded him, the former world No.1 has left his imprint on the Australian Open with a host of on and off-court moments that will linger long in the memory. 

Here are 10 of Murray's most memorable from the Australian Open. 

1. Baby steps with a future foe

Rewind to 2006, and an 18-year-old Murray made his debut at Melbourne Park.

Unfortunately, the raw teenage talent, then ranked then No.62, fell in straight sets to the experienced Juan Ignacio Chela.

In doubles, Murray teamed up with a certain Novak Djokovic. The duo has lifted 17 Grand Slams since, but on 20 January 2006 they lost 7-6(5) 6-3 to top-10 duo Fabrice Santoro and Nenad Zimonjic.
 

Thumbnail
These two would feature prominently at the Open in years to come ...

2. A taste of the next 10 years

By Australian Open 2007, the Scot already had an ATP title (San Jose) to his name and arrived in Melbourne as the 15th seed.

Few doubted Murray would reach the upper echelons of the game, but his fourth-round encounter with world No.2 Rafael Nadal provided proof he was certainly on the right path.

There were some scorching rallies, but Nadal eventually prevailed 6-7(3) 6-4 4-6 6-3 6-1 in an enthralling glimpse into the future.

3. Flying into the final

Over the years Murray has struck hundreds of incredible shots, but very few last in the memory like this cracker.

Here’s the scene. Murray was serving for the match in 2010 against Marin Cilic in the semifinals, the Scot leading 3-6 6-4 6-4 5-2. And this is what happened next. 
 

Not a bad way to help serve out a ticket into a maiden Melbourne final, where he lost to Roger Federer.

4. War of attrition

Djokovic was arguably at the peak of his powers in 2012, but Murray pushed the Serbian to the limit in a pulsating semifinal.

Locked at two sets each, Murray restored parity from 2-5 down in the decider, before Djokovic edged the thriller 6-3 3-6 6-7(4) 6-1 7-5.

The rollercoaster ride can be encapsulated by the combined 50 break points faced by the gladiatorial duo.

“It was a physical match. Andy deserves credit for coming back. He was fighting, I was fighting,” declared Djokovic. "It was one of the best matches I've played."
 

Thumbnail
Djokovic and Murray pushed to the limit and beyond in 2012

5. Federer gets express exit

Finally a Grand Slam champion after gaining revenge on Djokovic at the 2012 US Open, Murray hit Melbourne in 2013 in fine fettle.

How about this for a sizzling semifinal?

Murray rocketed 62 winners and 21 aces past Federer to chalk up a memorable 6-4 6-7(5) 6-3 6-7(2) 6-2 triumph ahead of another final showdown with Djokovic.

6. A semi with extra spice

In 2015, Murray was forced to take on home charge Nick Kyrgios in the quarterfinals. He breezed past the Australian to earn a captivating semifinal showdown with Tomas Berdych.

There were plenty of sharp exchanges between the players, and that was an extra for the top-drawer tennis on offer.

Murray had his take on the feisty affair: "There was a little bit of extra tension – it was a big match. A lot was made about Dani Vallverdu, my former coach, working with Tomas,” Murray told reporters after a 6-7(6) 6-0 6-3 7-5 victory.

"But we've been friends since we were 15 years old and I felt that the focus was unfair and unnecessary. This is sport – and there's more to life than sport. It created a bit of extra tension but everyone calmed down after the start of the match."

Sadly, for British fans, Djokovic once again took home the trophy.

7. All equals

Players, media and fans have warmed to Murray on many levels. One facet people love about the witty Scot is his quest for gender equality in tennis and sport.

Here is a perfect example, his post-match interview following that 2015 semifinal win over Berdych.
 

8. A bruising battle

The raw power of Milos Raonic was causing all sorts of problems for Murray in a draining 2016 semifinal encounter at Rod Laver Arena.

The Canadian broke Murray to love in the opening game and wrestled control of proceedings with 220km/h-plus body serves tormenting the Scot down the other end.

In customary Murray style, he battled back and launched into a fifth final Down Under 4-6 7-5 6-7(4) 6-4 6-2.

9. An emotional wave

Djokovic may have denied Murray for a fourth time in an Australian Open final in 2016, but the heart-warming story came in the trophy ceremony.

“To my wife Kim who is going to be watching back home,” said Murray holding back the tears and gazing down the camera. “You've been a legend for all your support. I'll be on the next flight home.”

Kim was heavily pregnant with their first child back home in Britain, whilst father-in-law Nigel Sears fell ill in Melbourne during the event. It was an emotionally-taxing fortnight for Murray and somehow, he made it into the silverware showdown.
 

Thumbnail
Murray's speech melted hearts after the final in 2016

10. Having a laugh

It clearly hasn’t been a joyous start to 2019 for Murray, but the 31-year-old still maintains his humour on social media.

Offering his assessment of the fresh player facilities at Melbourne Park, Murray wasn’t afraid to mention his record in Australian Open deciders …