AP Sports Writer
MONACO (AP) – 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 quarterfinals. 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.
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 Thursday.
Wawrinka plays No. 16 Pablo Cuevas; No. 4 Nadal takes on No. 14 Alexander Zverev, and Djokovic plays No. 13 Pablo Carreno Busta.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.