After suffering a fifth loss in the Australian Open final there was little else on Andy Murray’s mind but a trip home.
The Scot was beaten 6-1, 7-5, 7-6 (3) by Novak Djokovic on Sunday, taking his record in grand slam finals to 2-7. If the loss alone wasn’t bad enough for Murray, he endured it without his heavily-pregnant wife, Kim, with him.
To add to Murray’s off-court distractions, his father-in-law Nigel Sears, was carried out of Rod Laver Arena on a stretcher last week after suffering a bad fall. It’s been a fortnight to remember in many ways for Murray, but also one he’d like to forget.
The world number two found himself 5-0 down in the blink of an eye against Djokovic, repeating a pattern that had played out against Milos Raonic in Friday’s semi-final. The 28-year-old conceded that he was not in the best frame of mind, and that this may have affected his focus early on.
“A lot’s been going on,” Murray said. “I started the last couple of matches quite slowly, I think, understandably in some respects.
“Obviously it’s not good to begin matches like that against someone like Novak.
“But I’m proud of the way I fought and managed to get myself back into the match and create chances for myself.”
He added: “I’m proud that I got into this position, just quite looking forward to getting home now.
“It’s been hard. Regardless of today’s result, it’s been hard. Had I lost in the third or fourth round it still would have been difficult with everything that’s happened.”
Murray paid tribute to his wife in his on-court speech, and he did so again when speaking to the press later.
“Kim has been, yeah, amazing. She’s handled everything unbelievably well,” he said.
“I have to thank her for allowing me to play and sort of stay here with everything that was going on. But, yeah, it was tough.”
Murray was now a man in a hurry. He left the court at 10:30, and by midnight he was on his way to the airport heading home.
“I think the earliest [flight] was at like 1am but I’ve been held on flights for it feels like five days,” he explained.
“I’ve been held on almost every single flight, so the first one out of here, I’m leaving.”