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April 30, 2017

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Murray crashes in Monte Carlo, Djokovic struggles on

MONTE CARLO, Monaco -- Andy Murray surrendered a 4-0 lead in the decisive third set on his way to defeat at the Monte Carlo Masters on Thursday as the world No. 1's 2017 season hit another setback.

Murray suffered a shock third-round loss to Spain's 15th-seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 in more than two and a half hours.

Former French Open champion Stan Wawrinka was also routed, with the Swiss third seed losing to Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 6-4, 6-4.

Rafael Nadal gatecrashed Alexander Zverev's 20th birthday party with a brutal 6-1, 6-1 demolition while Novak Djokovic battled past Pablo Carreno Busta 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.

Ramos-Vinolas toppled Scottish top seed Murray on his second match point to progress to the quarterfinals on the Monaco clay for the first time at the French Open warm-up event.

"I'm disappointed to lose from the position that I was in," said 29-year-old Murray, who was making his first ATP appearance this week since a second-round loss to Vasek Pospisil at Indian Wells on March 12.

"If you look at the scoreline, it was 7-5 in the third. One week ago, I would have been okay with that. But sitting here, being 4-Love up in the third, I haven't lost many matches like that in my career.

"I'm disappointed. I feel like I had enough chances to win. I was close, I think. Maybe tomorrow or a day after I'll be able to look back a little bit and think where I'm at now from where I was a week ago.

"My elbow felt pretty good. I served much better today than I did yesterday. That's only going to get better. So hopefully I keep going in the right direction."

Defending champion Nadal, chasing a 10th title at the tournament, will face Argentina's Diego Schwartzman, who beat German qualifier Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 6-0.

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