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What next for Andy Murray after Wimbledon defeat to Stefanos Tsitsipas?

Two-time champion Andy Murray crashed out of Wimbledon on Friday, losing in five sets to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second round at the All England Club.

The defeat meant Murray equalled his worst ever performance at the grass-court Grand Slam and has raised plenty of questions about what lies ahead for the 36-year-old, who has three Grand Slam titles and two Olympic gold medals to his name.

Ominous noises from Murray following exit

Ten years on from his maiden Wimbledon title, which ended Great Britain's 77-year wait for a men's singles champion, Murray started his latest campaign at the All England Club on the front foot.

Although unseeded, Murray had a relatively straightforward first-round clash with Ryan Peniston and barely broke a sweat on Centre Court, defeating his compatriot 6-3 6-0 6-1.

That win set up a highly anticipated second-round tussle with fifth seed Tsitsipas with many hoping Murray could lay down a marker against the British ace.

At the end of play on Thursday, Murray looked in good shape, leading Tsitsipas 6-7 7-6 6-4 and needing just one more set to book his spot in the third round.

But on Friday the pendulum swung the way of the Greek, who won the penultimate set on a tiebreak and then prevailed 6-4 in the fifth to send Murray packing.

It was a devastating loss for Murray, who cut a despondent figure, much like he did a year earlier when exiting at the same stage against John Isner.

After the match, Murray's claims about his future were ominous. When asked about a return to Wimbledon in 2024, he said: "I don't know. Motivation is obviously a big thing. Continuing having early losses in tournaments like this doesn't necessarily help with that."

Regarding his future as a whole, he added: "It's similar to last year, I guess.

"I had a long think about things, spoke to my family and decided to keep going. I'm unbelievably disappointed and upset now. Maybe I will feel different in a few days but right now it doesn't feel good."

Wimbledon central to Murray's plans

The defeat to Tsitsipas was made worse for Murray by the fact he had put his full focus on Wimbledon this season, skipping the clay-court French Open to boost his grass-court preparations.

Dropping down to the ATP Challenger Tour, Murray managed to pick up titles in Surbiton and Nottingham in the run-up to the season's third Grand Slam but it was clear he was falling short when he played at Queen's.

Murray played just one match at the Wimbledon warm-up event, losing to Alex de Minaur, which left him without a seeding at the All England Club, hence why he faced Tsitsipas so early in the draw.

Despite his premature exit, Murray pushed Tsitsipas to his limits on Centre Court and the Greek had to produce one of his best grass-court performances to progress.

That suggests the Scotsman can still mix it with the very best and Murray agreed with that claim.

He said: "I certainly can. It's clear based on how the match went - there was only a few points in it.

"But it's not just about winning the odd match against them really. To have a run at these tournaments, you need multiple, multiple wins in a row. I've not done that."

US Open the next big target

It remains to be seen what is up next for Murray, but he has made similar claims about the rest of his career before, including after that loss to Isner in 2022.

If he does decide to keep going, the next major event on the calendar for Murray and the rest of the ATP Tour is the US Open - the first Grand Slam he won back in 2012.

Murray, who underwent major hip surgery in 2019, reached the third round in New York last year and a similar or better performance could well encourage him to stay on for longer.

It is, however, worth noting he has not made it beyond the quarter-finals at the US Open since he lifted the trophy at the hard-court Grand Slam and he is 50/1 to win the 2023 US Open.

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