A teary-eyed Andy Murray promised pregnant wife Kim he’d be on the next plane home after his turbulent two weeks at the Australian Open came to a crashing end.
Murray’s Melbourne Park campaign ended in familiar circumstances, losing to Novak Djokovic in the final for the fourth time.
The Scot played the Open on tenterhooks with their first child due next week, with his wife remaining in London.
The world No.2 vowed all tournament he’d immediately leave Melbourne regardless of his standing if she went into labour.
Compounding his emotional fragility was the collapse of Kim’s father Nigel Sears, who was courtside as coach of Ana Ivanovic during his charge’s third-round match.
Sears was rushed to hospital in a serious condition before recovering to fly home.
“I feel like I’ve been here before,” Murray said as he accepted the runner-up’s silverware.
“It’s been a tough few weeks for me away from the court.”
The former Wimbledon and US Open champion then choked up while thanking his wife – usually a permanent, and vocal, fixture in his box during the grand slam tournaments.
“My wife Kim, I’m sure she is going to watching at home. She’s been a legend over the last two weeks,” Murray said.
“So thanks for the support and I’ll be on the next flight home.”
While Djokovic claimed a record-equalling sixth title, Murray’s Australian Open final loss left him matching one of the game’s least wanted marks.
The 28-year-old joined his former coach Ivan Lendl as the only players in the professional era to lose five finals at the same grand slam event, with the Czech-American’s despair coming at the US Open.
Easing his pain was that Lendl also claimed three titles in New York.
But Murray remains empty-handed in Melbourne.