Andy Murray and Liam Broady are out of the ATP Rome Doubles after suffering a straight sets defeat to Kevin Krawietz and Horia Tecau.
The British duo were playing for the second time together in the tournament after winning their opening round match against Max Purcell and Luke Saville, but fell to a 6-3 6-4 loss.
Wednesday's win was the first time since March Murray had played due to a groin injury and the Scot is aiming for a competitive summer of action following his appearance in the doubles tournament.
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Broady and Murray’s strong showing in their first outing appeared to abandon them against Tecau and Krawietz, who quickly took control of the contest after a hectic start.
Murray and Broady’s serve was broken in their first serving game, but the Brits hit back immediately, returning the favour in the next game to get straight back into the contest.
The first set was finally balanced at 4-3 until Krawietz and Tecau broke their opponents’ serve again and the number eight seeds never relinquished control from there, progressing to the third round after just an hour and eleven minutes on the court.
Murray will be hopeful his brief showing in Rome will boost his chances of earning a wildcard spot in the main draw of the French Open, which begins on 30 May.
The former world number one intends to return to singles action next week either in Lyon or Geneva.
It has also been confirmed Murray will compete at Queen’s in June and Guy Forget, tournament director for the French Open, appeared to offer hope Murray would be one of their wildcards.
“Andy is trying his best to come back," said French Open tournament director Guy Forget.
His knowledge and experience is so big that if he feels physically fit and he can afford to play a few matches before Roland Garros, I believe, and it is only my guess, is that he can beat probably half of the people in the main draw.
"Andy knows he is not going to pretend to play tournaments if he does not feel he can compete with the best guys.
"Andy also knows he can get a wildcard or even qualify and then play Nadal first round.
"He just loves the game and wants to go out to perform and win matches, so I believe if he asks for one, it is because he believes he can perform and win a few matches."

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