Milos Raonic is doing his best to salvage some gold from the wreckage that is his devastating end to the Australian Open.
A disconsolate Raonic laid bare his semi-final despair after succumbing to an adductor injury in his five-set loss to Andy Murray at Melbourne Park.
The Canadian was leading the world No.2 two sets to one and closing in on a maiden grand slam final appearance.
“It’s unfortunate. Probably the most heartbroken I’ve felt on court,” Raonic said, speaking with a broken voice.
“You can’t take away that sort of hurt from the way the story played out today.”
Heavily reliant on his huge delivery, Raonic rocketed down the second fastest serve of the championship as well as 107 aces, second only to American John Isner.
But he wasn’t able to push off his leg to serve at anywhere near full power from halfway through the third set.
He battled on gamely but there was an air of inevitability about the result from the moment he was injured.
The normally mild-mannered giant lashed out, smashing his racquet onto the court when broken early in the fifth set, a fighting spirit giving way to rage.
“I’m just not in a state where I can probably have a conversation,” he said as he digested the most gut-wrenching defeat of his career.
“I’m not in the mental state where I would be seeing a doctor to get a recommendation today.
“Maybe that happens tomorrow or whenever I feel like I’m ready to face that situation.”
Merciless Murray admitted he deliberately tried to extend the rallies to take advantage of his wounded opponent’s plight to reach his fifth final at Melbourne Park.
“You have to just try and play what’s on your side of the net. That’s something I’ve learned over the years of playing,” he said.
“When I’m playing a match, I’m not thinking about what he was going through.”
Afterwards, though, the Scot admitted he sympathised with Raonic, who had entered the semi-final unbeaten in 2016.
“Obviously if the injury affected him significantly at the end, then that’s tough, especially at this stage of an event,” Murray said.
“As the player, it’s obviously very tough when that happens. I’ve been in that position myself many times before as well. It’s not easy.”
Raonic, who surged to a career-high No.4 in the world last year before foot and back injuries wiped out much of his season, will climb to the cusp of the top 10 next week after following up his victory over Roger Federer in the season-opening Brisbane International final with a first-time charge to the last four in Melbourne.
“There’s a lot more positive to take from the situation than there is negative by magnitudes,” he said.
“I’m happy with where my tennis is at. I just wish I could play tennis.”