Madrid: Andy Murray crashed out of the Madrid Open in the first round on Thursday, beaten 6-2, 7-6 (9/7) by qualifier Andrea Vavassori.
The Italian world No 164 turfed out the three-time Grand Slam champion Briton in straight sets in the Spanish capital.
Demoralising and awful
Former world No 1 Murray was also knocked out in the first round at the Monte Carlo Masters a fortnight ago, describing it as “demoralising” and “awful”.
Vavassori broke world No 52 Murray twice to take a 4-0 lead in the first set before serving out, with his opponent unable to force a single break point.
The 27-year-old broke again for 2-1 in the second set but fired into the net to allow his opponent back in to level at 4-4, with Murray celebrating furiously.
Vavassori committed a double fault at match point in the tiebreak and then hit the net with another shot, before Murray saved a third match point on serve.
The Briton saved a fourth too, but the Italian clinched victory at the fifth time of asking when Murray erred badly at the net.
It is the first time two-time winner Murray has fallen at the first hurdle in Madrid in 12 appearances.
Earlier Austria’s Dominic Thiem beat Kyle Edmund 6-4, 6-1 to set up a second round clash with Barcelona Open runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas.