Andy Murray bids emotional farewell to Miami 'tennis home'

Scot fights valiantly before losing to Tomas Machac in final appearance at Miami Open

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Andy Murray gave his fans a performance to remember in his final appearance at the Miami Open as he put up a brave fight before falling to a 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (5) third-round defeat to Czech Tomas Machac.

Murray, a two-time Miami winner, had saved match point in the third before forcing a tie-break, which he led 5-3 before Machac secured the win.

With the match tied at a set each and 5-5 in third, the contest looked done and dusted when Murray rolled over on his left ankle and screamed in pain before hopping to his bench.

After being treated by the trainer, Murray strapped his ankle and returned to the court.

The third set would go to a tie-break with Murray building a 5-3 advantage but the former-world number one could not close the deal as Machac, who had earlier upset fifth seed Andrey Rublev, made the most of the advantage.

Murray then walked out onto the court one more time and applauded the crowd.

"I wasn't thinking about all the matches I played. Just more that that's the last match that I am going play here which is sad because I love it here," Murray said. "I've spent so much of my tennis career here and I would have liked it to have gone on a little bit longer.

"This tournament in particularly for me is an important one so it was a bit more emotional leaving the court today than it might be at some of the other events.

"I am looking forward to the end now, give my best the next few months and get to be at home with my family."

Murray underwent major hip surgery to extend his career, and so was able to appreciate the value of his performance and his earlier round wins over Italian Matteo Berrettini and Argentine Tomas Martin Etcheverry.

"It's been pretty positive, there were some good signs in my game, definitely an improvement on the last few tournaments, not perfect but considering everything to be winning matches against the players I did and pushing Thomas like I did today, I'm proud of myself because it's extremely difficult to do what I'm doing with the issue that I have.

"To still be able to compete with these guys is a credit to myself and the work that I've done and the effort that I've put into this to keep myself in this position," he said.

Over the years, Murray has done a bulk of his off-season training in Miami and says he has developed a fondness for the area.

"Miami has been a special place for me during my career. It's been my tennis home really. I've done so much of my work and training and preparation here. I love the city," he said.

Before leaving the court, he showed his appreciation to a crowd that cheered for him throughout.

"The support was brilliant, they've got obviously Americans in the crowd, there's Brits in the crowd, a lot of Latin Americans as well here who love their tennis and have always given me really great support here," he said.

Updated: March 25, 2024, 4:52 AM