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June 29, 2017

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Murray pole-axed at Paris Masters

PARIS -- Andy Murray wasted a match point before being knocked out 5-7, 7-6, 6-2 by Polish qualifier Jerzy Janowicz following a sloppy display in the third round of the Paris Masters on Thursday.

Britain's Murray lost focus as he served for the match in the second set and was then battered by the hard hitting Janowicz, who ended the contest with a forehand winner and collapsed in joy.

"He probably gained some confidence from that (match point saved) and started playing better," Murray told a news conference. "He played a good tiebreak, played aggressive, he hits a very flat ball, so when he's hitting it well it comes through the court a lot."

The world number three's defeat means that for the first time since the 2010 Paris Masters was won by Swede Robin Soderling, a Masters title will be claimed by a player outside of the Big Four.

As another energy-sapping season draws to an end, world number four Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer opted not to play in the French capital while Serb Novak Djokovic was dumped out of the tournament by American Sam Querrey in the second round on Wednesday.

Argentine seventh seed Juan Martin del Potro will also have a few extra days to prepare for next week's ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 in London as he was beaten 6-4, 6-3 by local favourite Michael Llodra.

Spain's David Ferrer, the fourth seed, was the highest ranked player left in the draw after his 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 win over Swiss 16th seed Stanislas Wawrinka.

Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will also travel to London next week after securing his spot with a 7-6, 7-6 win over Spain's Nicolas Almagro.

With Almagro out of the picture, Janko Tipsarevic completed the World Tour finals' lineup thanks to his 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 defeat of Argentine Juan Monaco.

Janowicz will next face the eighth-seeded Tipsarevic.

The 21-year-old Pole, who stands at 2.03 meters, had not faced a break point in his first two Paris matches.

But that run was unlikely to stay intact against a grand slam champion and he fell 15-40 behind in the 11th game.

The world 69 saw off the first break point by following a big first serve at the net, only to double fault on the second.

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