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Round up from Melbourne

Following Sir Andy Murray’s gutsy but gruelling five set defeat in Melbourne to Roberto Bautista Agut, during which his painful immobility was clear for all to see, and despite his subsequent but hopefully premature “retirement” announcement by the Australian Open organisers as they cynically tried in vain to make him cry, he is yet to rule out making this year’s Wimbledon his swansong. Fingers crossed that he can drag himself down to SW19 to give it one last shot, whilst allowing us all one last brief glimpse of one of the sport’s all-time greats. Meanwhile, the post-Murray future was not looking so bright, as any British singles interest was quickly snuffed out by the end of round two, with the likes of Watson, Edmund, Boulter, Norrie, Dart, Evans and Konta all suffering early defeats, although Evans received high praise from his victorious opponent, Roger Federer, whilst Konta’s match did not finish until 3am, with not option of postponement. However, the Murray name lives on in doubles, where Britain continues to thrive, as Jamie, with his Brazilian partner Bruno Soares, defeated the all British pair of Bambridge and O’Mara on their way to losing in the quarter-finals, as he did in the mixed doubles, in which Britain’s Neal Skupski made it all the way to the semi-finals. Meanwhile, fellow Brits Norrie, Inglot, Salisbury and Dart, along with their respective partners, also at least made it through a couple of rounds. And all this despite being controversially labelled by Dan Evans as singles failures, much to the annoyance of Jamie Murray, who is one of seven British doubles players ranked in the world’s top 60, more than from any other nation. Even without Sir Andy, Wimbledon 2019 should therefore still have plenty to offer the home supporters.