Andy Murray crashes out of Italian Open after shock defeat to Fabio Fognini
Andy Murray suffered another demoralising defeat on clay as he lost 6-2 6-4 to Fabio Fognini as his defence of the Italian Open ended in his opening match.
The home favourite was inspired before the fans in Rome to consign world number one Murray to another concerning loss in the last 32 of the final tournament before the French Open begins on May 28. It came only a day after he turned 30.
Murray has suffered an indifferent season so far by his own standards on clay, losing to Borna Coric in the Madrid Open last 16, Dominic Thiem in the Barcelona Open semi-finals and Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the last 16 of Monte Carlo.
Andy Murray looks dejectedGetty Images
Murray's best performance was winning the Dubai title in February, but he looks to be struggling to replicate the blistering displays that carried him to the number one spot at the end of last year.
He has yet to find the form that carried him to the final of the French Open a year ago.
There was better news for French Open champion Novak Djokovic, who built on last week's encouraging showing in Madrid to beat British qualifier Aljaz Bedene 7-6(2) 6-2 in his opening match
The Serb has struggled for form this year and recently split with his entire coaching staff but his game looked in good order against Bedene on Court Centrale in Rome.
Novak Djokovic in Rome.Getty Images
He was pushed hard in the opening set by 55th-ranked Bedene and had to recover an early service break but he stepped on the gas in the second set to cruise through to the third round.
"A little bit of a slow start, but Bedene is the kind of player that gives you good rhythm," world number two Djokovic, beaten in the Madrid semis by Rafael Nadal, said.
"I had some good exchanges, some good games with rallies and it felt right, especially in the second set."
Results from the Italian Open Men's Singles matches on Tuesday
- Fabio Fognini (Italy) beat 1-Andy Murray (Britain) 6-2 6-4
- 6-Marin Cilic (Croatia) beat Ryan Harrison (U.S.) 6-3 6-2
- 2-Novak Djokovic (Serbia) beat Aljaz Bedene (Britain) 7-6(2) 6-2
- 12-Tomas Berdych (Czech Republic) beat Carlos Berlocq (Argentina) 6-3 6-4
- John Isner (U.S.) beat Florian Mayer (Germany) 7-6(4) 7-6(4)
- 9-David Goffin (Belgium) beat Fernando Verdasco (Spain) 3-6 6-3 6-2
- Roberto Bautista (Spain) beat Alexandr Dolgopolov (Ukraine) 6-4 6-2
- Tommy Haas (Germany) beat Ernesto Escobedo (U.S.) 6-0 4-6 7-6(1)
- David Ferrer (Spain) beat Feliciano Lopez (Spain) 4-6 6-3 6-1
- 15-Pablo Carreno (Spain) beat Gilles Simon (France) 6-3 6-3
- 16-Alexander Zverev (Germany) beat Kevin Anderson (South Africa) 6-4 4-6 6-4
- Benoit Paire (France) beat Nicolas Mahut (France) 6-3 6-4
- 13-Jack Sock (U.S.) beat Diego Schwartzman (Argentina) 6-4 1-6 7-5
- Pablo Cuevas (Uruguay) beat Adrian Mannarino (France) 6-4 7-6(2)