Murray beaten by Fish at Queen's

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The Independent Online

Defending champion Andy Murray lost a shoot-out with American Mardy Fish at Queen's Club on Friday to leave the grasscourt tournament short of five of its top six seeds in the quarter-finals.

Murray, the third seed, was furious on Thursday evening when Fish walked off at 3-3 in the deciding set claiming the light was too poor to continue and his mood was not helped as he returned to lose 6-4 1-6 7-6.

"It wasn't particularly good, few rallies, lots of mistakes," Murray told reporters after his brief appearance on centre court on Friday. "Today was a bit of a shoot-out. I played two or three bad points and lost the match."

The previous evening Murray had battled back from 0-3 down in the third and seemed to have regained the momentum when Fish packed up his rackets and walked off, leaving the Scot standing on the baseline without an opponent.

"The only reason he didn't want to play is because it's 3-3," Murray told umpire Cedric Mourier on Thursday. "Ten minutes ago when it was 3-1 he was quite happy. I have never known this before. It's ridiculous."

Murray said tournament supervisor Tom Barnes had apologised.

"I wasn't annoyed about the light so much as the fact that I wasn't consulted," Murray said.

Fish's attacking game snuffed out Murray on another cool day at the elite west London club which is the traditional warm-up event for the Wimbledon fortnight later this month.

He forged 6-2 ahead in the tiebreak and forced Murray too hit long on his first match point. Fish will face France's Michael Llodra later on Friday.

Top seed Rafael Nadal, aiming to repeat his triumph here in 2008 when he went on to beat Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final, faces fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez later.

Four-times champion Andy Roddick was beaten by Israel's Dudi Sela on Thursday while second seed Novak Djokovic also departed in the third round, losing to Belgium's Xavier Malisse.

Serbia's Djokovic was also unhappy about the conditions.

"The conditions were impossibe to play a professional tennis match, this is ridiculous, just ridiculous," he said.

Malisse plays American seventh seed Sam Querrey later in Friday's quarter-finals while Sela is up against Germany's Rainer Schuettler.