Andy Murray loses in Rafa Nadal Open to Matteo Viola

Andy Murray loses in Rafa Nadal Open to Matteo Viola”

But the Scot, now ranked 329th in the world, lost 3-6 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to 32-year-old Viola, who broke Murray five times to seal a famous win.

Andy Murray said he was suffering from cramp and fatigue following his last-16 loss to world number 240 Matteo Viola at the Rafa Nadal Open.

A third consecutive such victory looked on the cards when he took the opening set with two breaks of the Viola serve, but he dropped the second despite twice fighting back from a break down.

"I'm cramping. Very exhausted", Murray said.

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Murray, competing in an ATP Challenger Tour event for the first time since 2005, had secured back-to-back wins in Mallorca as he continues his comeback from hip surgery, but came unstuck against an inspired opponent. The three-time major victor will consider his defeat a setback as he builds up his match fitness after having a metal hip implanted in January in a bid to save his career.

"After blitzing teenager Imran Sibille and overcoming third seed Norbert Gombos, the 32-year-old Murray succumbed to Viola in a third-set tie-break". A volley victor secured another break for Matteo in the next game, serving for the set at 5-3 but getting broken at love after a deep return from Murray who was the favorite to bring the match home from there now.

Murray returned to the courts in June playing doubles, including Wimbledon, before pulling out of the doubles at the US Open to concentrate on his singles career.

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