Andy Murray says he does himself “justice” at big events and thinks he can still “do some damage” after his exit from the Australian Open.
Murray completed his second-round match at 4 a.m. on Friday and returned to Melbourne Park 39 hours later to face Spain’s 24th seed.
“I can have a deeper run than the third lap, there’s no doubt about that,” he said.
“I’m competing against a guy ranked 20th in the world and it’s still very close considering the circumstances.”
Murray, ranked 66th in the world, needed five hours and 45 minutes to beat Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis in a second-round match that ended in the early hours of Friday.
It came after the three-time major champion took nearly five hours to win his opener against Italy’s 13th seed Matteo Berrettini on Tuesday.
After leaving Kokkinakis, Murray said he only managed to sleep for three hours before returning with “seven or eight” drained foot blisters.
He then returned to court at 7:00 p.m. local time on Saturday to face Bautista Agut and it quickly emerged that he was struggling to move.
Despite a daring effort, the former world number one couldn’t reach the fourth round of a major for the first time since 2017.
“There were maybe times over the last year where I didn’t really feel like I was playing well and I didn’t like the way I was playing,” he said.
“The sacrifices and efforts I made got me through these matches [against Berrettini and Kokkinakis] and play at a high level which I think was entertaining for people watching.
“I felt good about the way I played. It’s more enjoyable for me when I play like that, when I come to a major event and really believe I can do damage.”
Murray announced at the 2019 Australian Open that he planned to undergo hip resurfacing surgery which he feared would end his career.
After losing to Bautista Agut in the first round, the tournament played a now infamous retirement video with farewell messages from his rivals.
But, four years later, he’s still playing and still optimistic about his chances of a deep run at a major.
“Obviously you never know exactly when the end is going to be,” he added.
“I would love to play tennis like that, where I compete with the best players in the world in the biggest events and do myself justice.”
BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller at Melbourne Park
What could Andy Murray accomplish in the rest of this year’s Grand Slams if he doesn’t need to get up after three hours of sleep – and a 4:05 a.m. finish – to get his hands dry? blisters?
Draws can open up, as this Australian Open has shown. After knocking out Berrettini, Murray’s path to the semi-finals wouldn’t have contained a single top-20 player – although that’s academic now.
Murray was very proud of a screenshot sent to him suggesting he’s finished more points at net than anyone else, even though he’ll know he needs to be quicker to wrap games up.
I always thought that a top 50 finish would be both a magnificent achievement and the most he could achieve after his two hip surgeries.
But the way he’s come out of pre-season training and those spartan three weeks in Florida means I might have to adjust my sights.