Murray loses to Ramos-Vinolas at Monte Carlo Masters
World No 1 from Britain throws away a 4-0 lead in the deciding set before losing to 15th seeded Spaniard in third-round match
Top-seeded Andy Murray threw away a 4-0 lead in the deciding set of his third-round match on Thursday as 15th-seeded Albert Ramos-Vinolas won 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 at the Monte Carlo Masters.
Murray, who is returning after a spell out with a right elbow injury, looked rusty and struggled on his serve in a match lasting more than 2 ½ hours.
Ramos-Vinolas faces fifth-seeded Marin Cilic in the quarter-finals. The Croatian reached the last eight after beating No. 9 Tomas Berdych 6-2, 7-6 (0).
In their first-ever meeting, a double break put top-ranked Murray 4-0 up in the decider but 24th-ranked Ramos-Vinolas broke back twice to level the match at 4-4.
Murray struggled in the ninth game, taken to deuce before finally holding and then unsuccessfully pressuring the Spaniard’s serve in the next game. After breaking Murray’s serve again, Ramos-Vinolas served out the match on his second serve.
“I’m disappointed to lose from the position that I was in,” said Murray after the match.
“I mean, if you sort of look at the scoreline, it was 7-5 in the third. One week ago I would have been okay with that. But sitting here, being 4-Love up in the third, I haven’t lost many matches like that in my career,” said Murray.
“I’m disappointed. I feel like I had enough chances to win. I was close, I think. At 5-4, I had a chance in that game, as well.
“Maybe tomorrow or a day after I’ll be able to look back a little bit and think where I’m at now from where I was a week ago.
“My elbow felt pretty good. I served much better today than I did yesterday. That’s only going to get better. So hopefully I keep going in the right direction.”
In a match between powerful hitters, Cilic was serving for victory at 5-4. After a long game Berdych broke back for 5-5 and then forced a tiebreaker, but the Czech player wilted against the 2014 U.S. Open champion.
No 2 Novak Djokovic, No 3 Stan Wawrinka and defending champion Rafael Nadal were all in action later on Thursday.
Wawrinka plays No 16 Pablo Cuevas; No 4 Nadal takes on No. 14 Alexander Zverev, and Djokovic plays No. 13 Pablo Carreno Busta.
Associated Press, Agence-France-Presse