Andy Murray suffered a shock defeat as he was beaten by world No 158 Roman Safiullin in the second round of the Rennes Open Challenger.
Murray was broken three times in the first set but looked as though he was turning things around after levelling the match. However, he didn’t win a game in the deciding set as he was beaten 6-2 4-6 6-1.
Murray has said he is focused on improving his ranking this month after slipping down to No 116 in the world following surgery.
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It was expected that he could move up a few places at the second-tier event in Rennes before heading to Metz, San Diego, and then the Masters tournament in Indian Wells.
However, just a few weeks after almost beating world No 3 Stefanos Tsitipas in the opening round of the US Open, he failed to get past Safiullin.
Murray produced a below-par display in the opening set as he managed to win only two games.
The second set went on serve until Murray managed to break at 4-4 and take the lead. The former world No 1 closed out the set, but then faded in the decider as Safiullin ran away with the match.
Murray saved three match points to get on the board at 5-1, only for Safiullin to clinch victory in the next game.
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