- ATP Tour
Murray crashes out of Madrid Open
Andy Murray crashed out of the Mutua Madrid Open after the Scot suffered a 7-6(3) 6-4 defeat to Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals.
The British No. 1 battled to victory in the last-16 against Gilles Simon in a late-night thriller, but was unable to get the better of Berdych in a lacklustre display from the US Open champion.
Murray dug deep to see off Simon on Thursday, and he appeared to be suffering from those efforts as Berdych clinically dispatched the Scot to march on into the semi-finals.
Back as the world No. 2 following Roger Federer's shock loss to Kei Nishikori, Murray held his serve well, as did Berdych - who was not affected by a gentle warning from the umpire that he was close to going over the 25-second time limit for the server on several occasions.
The first break of the contest fell the way of Murray in the seventh game, sealed when he scrambled all over the court and counter-attacked with a cross-court forehand winner to go 4-3 in front.
However, Berdych matched Murray and replied in kind to level at 4-4 as the Czech No. 1 was brave and forced the issue with his aggressive play at the net.
Berdych crucially held in the ninth game after he fended off four break points, and when Murray twice served to stay in the set at 5-4 and 6-5 down, he answered the questions to take the set into a tiebreak.
But the tiebreak was a difficult one for Murray as Berdych raised his game and raced into a 5-1 lead.
Though Murray collected another couple of points at 6-3, Berdych was handed the set when a backhand up the line from Murray went wide.
The pressure was on Murray immediately in the second set as Berdych seized the initiative to break, but Murray bounced back with two games in a row to get the set back on serve.
The fifth game proved to be the moment where Berdych would sense victory, as Murray tamely hit the net to enable his opponent to go on and consolidate a break at 4-2. While Murray stayed with Berdych, he could not reclaim the break, and with it Berdych sealed victory to reach the semi-finals.
Berdych's reward for toppling Murray is a semi-final clash with Stanislas Wawrinka who won an attritional three-set battle with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.