MELBOURNE: Andy Murray declared “I just want to get home” and headed straight for the airport yesterday as he raced to be reunited with his pregnant wife after his Australian Open final defeat. Murray, who has been on baby alert all tournament with his wife, Kim Sears, due to give birth within weeks, said he was getting the next flight home after his loss to world number one Novak Djokovic. “I’m proud that I got into this position, you know. Just quite looking forward to getting home now,” Murray said in a quickfire press conference before rushing for his plane.
The British world number two had pledged to quit the tournament if his wife went into labour, and he was also close to pulling out when his father-in-law Nigel Sears collapsed at Rod Laver Arena last week. “It was a tough, tough couple of days. Thankfully, he’s fine now. Yeah, I just want to get home,” said London-based Murray.
He added: “I’ve been held on flights for, it feels like five days. I’ve been held on almost every single flight, so the first one out of here, I’m leaving. It’s at 1:00, I think.” Earlier Murray had tears in his eyes and a faltering voice as he paid tribute to his wife after he was well beaten 6-1, 7-5, 7-6 (7/3) — his fifth defeat in the Melbourne final. “You’ve been a legend for the last two weeks. Thank you so much for all of your support and I’ll be on the next plane home,” the Scot said at the on-court awards ceremony. He later explained it had been a difficult tournament as he was beset by distractions, but which also, however, seemed to take the sting out of his latest Grand Slam disappointment.
With the defeat, Murray became only the second man in the post-1968 Open era-after Ivan Lendl, his former coach-to lose five finals at the same Grand Slam tournament. “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 said. “She’s been amazing. Handled everything unbelievably well. Yeah, I have to thank her for allowing me to play and stay here with everything that was going on. But, yeah, it was tough.” — AFP