Andy Murray’s losing streak continues after Italian qualifier Andrea Vavasori lost in the opening round of the Madrid Open.
The upset Scot’s 6-2 7-6 (7) defeat at Player 164 equaled the worst run of his professional career with four consecutive defeats.
Murray was so disappointed with his performance against Alex de Minaur in Monte Carlo two weeks ago that he suggested he may sit out the rest of the clay season.
He settled against that but it was another disappointing result, the only positive being how Murray got into the match in the second set.
He lost the first four games and fell apart early in the second set against 27-year-old qualifier Vavasori, who is in the prime of his career.
The Italian was playing well but Murray was making too many unforced errors and couldn’t make any headway on his opponent’s serve.
In the eighth game, he broke Vavasorin for the first time and took advantage of his opponent’s nerves to save four points in the final with two straight volleys.
It is the first time since 2019, when his hip problems worsened, Murray is set to be demoted following a four-game losing streak and a third-round exit in the Spanish capital last year. 60.
One of the 35-year-old’s main goals on clay was to improve his ranking in a bid to seed for Wimbledon, and things are clearly not going the way he had hoped.
Murray’s loss follows the withdrawal of Emma Raducanu and another loss to Kyle Edmund.
Edmund is trying to make his way back to the top of his game after a long layoff with knee problems, but has yet to win on tour this year.
The former British number one’s last loss was a 6-4 6-1 loss to former US Open champion Dominic Thiem, and he is showing more encouraging signs two years after his last wrist injury.
«I’ve known Kyle since we were kids,» Thiem, who will face world number five Stefanos Tsitsipas in the next round, told the ATP Tour website. He was a staunch opponent from a young age, so I entered with great respect.
“I had some crucial moments in the first set where I was saving the break points and I let go a little bit and it just got better and better.
«Once I was a very hard person to hit on clay and now it’s not the case, but I feel that I’m getting better and getting back into shape.»
British number one Cameron Nori has been greeted in the first round and will start against Yosuke Watanuki after the Japanese qualifier beat France’s Corentin Mouat 6-3 6-3.
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