Murray knocked out in Valencia

Defending champion Andy Murray crashed out of the Valencia Open with an out-of-sorts display against Juan Monaco in the second round.

The Scot was top seed at the Spanish event but was largely outplayed by his Argentinian opponent as a second-set revival failed to spark him into life.

Murray had begun the defence of his crown brightly with a straight-sets win over world number 31 Feliciano Lopez yesterday.

That match was not without its moments of difficulty and the Dunblane player found an even tougher obstacle in world number 25 Monaco as he succumbed to a 6-2 3-6 6-2 loss.

Murray got off to a poor start as his second service game was broken to hand Monaco a 3-1 advantage. A double fault in the fifth saw Murray struggling before he eventually served out for 3-2.

He was soon 5-2 down when again his serve let him down, allowing a cool Monaco to take the set.

The second set began poorly for the Scot as he was immediately broken in the first game. He responded straight away by breaking Monaco to go 1-1, before establishing his authority and finding his serve to take the set 6-2.

The momentum was with the Briton heading into the third but Monaco was in no mood to roll over, his superior statistics on service and holding his nerve at key points giving him the upper-hand in the decider.

It did not take him long to break Murray and take a firm grip on the match and the Argentinian had victory in his sights with Murray serving at 5-2.

Murray started the game strongly but Monaco kept himself in it before going 40-30 for match point, holding his nerve to break the world number four again and move into the third round.