Murray defeated by qualifier in Rome

Andy Murray lost his fourth match of the year today, falling to Argentine qualifier Juan Monaco 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 in his opening match at the Rome Masters.

The fourth-ranked Murray easily won the first set but then began to miss more first serves and commit more unforced errors, while the 58th-ranked Monaco won several points with an effective drop shot.



Murray's other losses this year came against top-ranked Rafael Nadal — twice in Masters Series events in Indian Wells, California, and Monte Carlo — and to Fernando Verdasco at the Australian Open.



Murray got only 57 percent of his first serves in to Monaco's 81 percent, and the Briton looked weary when Monaco broke to take a 6-5 lead in the third set. Monaco then served out the match, with Murray wildly missing an easy backhand approach in the final game.



Murray made his first clay-court semifinal appearance in his last outing in Monte Carlo, but he showed he still has some work to do before the French Open, which begins May 24.



Murray is working with two-time French Open finalist Alex Corretja during the clay-court season.



Monaco will next face 15th-seeded Marin Cilic after the 1.98-meter (6-foot-6) Croatian defeated Christophe Rochus of Belgium 6-0, 5-7, 6-2.



In the first round, held over from Tuesday due to rain, Richard Gasquet beat ninth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (2), 6-4.



The 23rd-ranked Gasquet improved to 4-2 in his career against Tsonga, last year's Australian Open runner-up.



Tommy Robredo of Spain eliminated Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 6-2, 7-6 (5) and will now play defending champion Novak Djokovic.



Also, Robin Soderling of Sweden overcame a second-set lapse to beat Romanian qualifier Victor Crivoi 6-1, 7-6 (2), 6-1. Crivoi upset 14th-seeded James Blake on Monday.



Soderling will next face either Nadal or local favorite Andreas Seppi of Italy, who were playing later. Also later, No. 2 Roger Federer opened against big-serving Ivo Karlovic.



With the sun out at the Foro Italico after two days of rain, something in the air got into Monaco's eye and he had to call the trainer and receive eye drops midway through the first set.



Monaco fell to the clay trying to react to a passing shot from Murray, but he got back up, wiped the dirt off his side and proceeded to break the Brit to take a 3-2 lead in the third. It appeared Murray thought a shot from Monaco was long, and he replied with a shot of his own that sailed past the baseline — handing Monaco the break.



Monaco fell to the clay again two games later when Murray hit a ball behind the Argentine, and threw his racket at the ball to no avail.



Still, the scrappy Argentine attacked more than Murray, coming to the net 27 times to Murray's 22. Monaco improved to 13-6 on clay this year, including a runner-up result in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in February.



Murray could still move up to No. 3 in the rankings if Djokovic does not defend his title.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
music

News
Russell Brand at an anti-austerity march in June
peopleActor and comedian says 'there's no point doing it if you're not'
Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Voices
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Arts and Entertainment
Sister Cristina Scuccia sings 'Like a Virgin' in Venice
music

Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Life and Style
The Tinder app has around 10 million users worldwide

techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say

News
news

Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

News
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album