Andy Murray
Andy Murray is out of the 2024 Qatar Open after losing to Jakub Mensik in three sets. Carl Recine/Reuters

Andy Murray appeared dejected whilst competing at the 2024 Qatar Open, as he was seen to be questioning whether he still belonged on the court in his defeat to Jakub Mensik on Wednesday.

The three-time Grand Slam champion fell to a 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-4) defeat to the 18-year-old Czech, in a contest that went on for a tournament record of three hours and 23 minutes.

The loss for Murray is particularly disappointing as it means he was unable to build on his opening-round win in Doha on Tuesday, which was his first victory on the ATP Tour in 2024. The Brit's 6-1 7-6 (7-5) win over Alexandre Muller put a halt to five consecutive opening-round losses at tournaments and ended a six-game losing streak.

Murray's admission of his tennis future came during the second set against Mensik after he failed to convert a fairly straightforward shot whilst having a breakpoint at 5-5.

The 36-year-old was seen to be uttering: "This game is not for me anymore, it's not for me."

After being broken early on in the opening set, Murray looked on course for another disappointing display in 2024. However, he got his break back towards the end of the set when Mensik was in position to serve for the set and the Brit levelled the contest at 5-5.

Both players then held serve in their next games to force a tiebreaker, in which Murray found himself ahead at one point, with two set points in his favour as he led 6-4. Despite having this advantage, Murray somehow netted with a backhand volley far up the court in his first attempt, before misplacing his forehand shot in a second set point attempt.

Mensik moved to 7-6 in front during the tiebreaker after Murray misplaced another shot, with the Czech then taking the first set after Murray hit an unsuccessful return. The 36-year-old was visibly frustrated with losing the set from the position he was in as he repeatedly smashed his racket on his bag.

In a tight second set, both players held on to their serve and fought their way to another tiebreaker. Murray built up a commanding lead with five set points and soon took the second set as Mensik was unable to return the Brit's backhand shot when trailing 6-3 in the tiebreaker.

The beginning of the third set saw Murray injure his right ankle when serving the opening game, and despite being able to soldier on, Mensik landed a break. The teenager then struck a second break in the deciding set to go 5-2 ahead and have the chance to serve out the match.

Despite appearing to be on the verge of an exit, Murray clawed his way back by winning four straight games to lead 6-5, before Mensik held serve to set up the third tiebreaker of the match.

The deciding tiebreaker went back and forth with both players leading at points but once it was square at 4-4, Mensik was able to keep his composure and won three straight points to secure the victory.

Despite Murray enduring another defeat and questioning whether he can still operate on the court, his loss to Mensik demonstrates that he may still be able to be competitive on the ATP Tour.

A downside to Murray's exit at the Qatar Open is that his world ranking will plummet as he has not matched his performance from last year's tournament, where he reached the final and lost to Daniil Medvedev. He will drop from 50th spot to outside the top 60 places when the rankings are updated next week.

Murray is scheduled to be back out on the court next week at the Dubai Open. He will then partake in the first ATP Masters 1000 events of the year, taking place at Indian Wells and Miami in March.

Elsewhere, British number one, Cameron Norrie is targeting back-to-back titles at the Rio Open, with that quest continuing in his last 16 matchup with Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera on Thursday.

Norrie is the highest seed remaining in the competition after Carlos Alcaraz pulled out in his first-round match against Thiago Monteiro with an ankle injury.