Whenever Andy Murray waves goodbye to Centre Court these days, nobody can confidently predict if it will be the last time or not.

In the hours after another disheartening defeat in the second round at Wimbledon, even the 36-year-old was unsure.

At the start of the 10th anniversary of Murray's iconic first title at the All England Club, when he ended Britain's 77-year wait for a men's singles champion, there was hope.

The hope was that he could complete a memorable win over Greek fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and earn his most notable victory at a Grand Slam since having career-saving hip surgery in 2019.

By the end of the day, the former world number one questioned whether all the effort, pain and sacrifice of trying to go deep at Wimbledon is worth repeating.

Asked if he was confident of returning next year, Murray 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."

Murray cut a forlorn figure as he spoke to journalists, looking incredibly downbeat as he dissected his five-set defeat by 24-year-old Tsitsipas.

The scene was nothing new. Revealing raw emotion after difficult defeats at the place where he puts the greatest emphasis on winning has been common in the past few years.

In 2021, Murray said he needed to weigh up "if all the hard work is worth it" after an encouraging run was ended by Canada's Denis Shapovalov in the third round.

In 2022, an equally-despondent Murray also questioned his future after suffering his earliest exit at Wimbledon at the hands of American John Isner in the second round.

This year, for all the bullish talk in the build-up, the tournament ended with the same result.

"Losing in the second round, I don't find that motivating, it's not why I put all of the work in," said Murray, who has not reached the fourth round of a major since Wimbledon in 2017.

"It's similar to last year, I guess. I had a long think about things, spoke to my family, and decided to keep on 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."

This summer, Murray has channelled all his efforts into a deep run at the place where he has won two of his three major titles.

That is what makes the disappointment even harder to take.

Murray decided to skip the clay-court French Open, preferring instead to start his preparations on the British grass on which he thrives.

Dropping down to the ATP Challenger Tour - the level below the main tour - led to title wins in Surbiton and Nottingham.

Murray suffered a chastening defeat against Alex de Minaur when he made the step up in class at Queen's. Nothing to panic about, he insisted.

But, crucially, it meant he missed out on a seeding and left him open to the prospect of facing one of the highest-ranked players in the first two rounds.

The draw threw up a potential second-round match against Tsitsipas, a two-time major finalist tipped to win one of the sport's biggest prizes sooner rather than later.

When that highly anticipated meeting panned out, Murray stepped up to the occasion - as he regularly does on the big stage - and showed glimpses of his best.

It was testament to his performance that Tsitsipas had to produce his best display on grass in a long time to pull through.

Not even that could soften the blow for Murray, who knows he can still mix it with the world's best.

"I certainly can. It's clear based on how the match went. There was only a few points in it," he said.

"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."

Murray is not the type of player to rush into any major decisions and his love for the game is evident by the depths from which he has recovered to continue playing.

Last weekend, Murray said he had an "idea in my head" about when he wanted to retire. That decision does not look imminent but the scars of this latest Wimbledon loss may lead to reassessment.

Tim Henman, Murray's former Davis Cup team-mate and long-time friend, believes the Scot will reflect more positively when "the dust is settled".

"Andy has got a wise head on slightly older shoulders now and he is absolutely right not to commit to anything," he said.

"He will reflect on how much effort he has put in this year. He dropped down levels to play in Challenger events and to win two on grass. That emphasises the hunger and desire.

"That desire still burns bright and I really hope there is more to come for Andy."

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