Murray squanders early lead to fall to Haas rally

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The Independent Online

Andy Murray, Britain's No 1, was knocked out of the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California last night, squandering a one-set lead over Tommy Haas to lose their fourth round encounter 6-2, 5-7, 3-6.

The 20-year-old Scot had looked in control after easing through the first set, but Haas, ranked 36 in the world to Murray's 11, battled back to take the next two and reverse the result of their quarter-final meeting a year ago. Roger Federer or Croat Ivan Ljubicic await the German in the last eight this time.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal came from a set down and 3-5 behind in the third to scrape past Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-7 7-6 7-5.

In a repeat of this year's Australian Open semi-final in which Tsonga upset the Spaniard, Nadal gained revenge by winning a fluctuating encounter in just over three hours. The second seed claimed the last four games as Tsonga's high-risk strategy ultimately backfired.

Nadal and Tsonga traded service breaks in the first two games of the match on the showpiece Stadium Court and then held serve to take the opening set into a tiebreak which went Tsonga's way by 7-4 after Nadal had edged into a 3-1 advantage.

The second set also began with successive breaks of serve before going to another tiebreak which the Spaniard won 7-3.

Both players held serve in the third set until the sixth game when Nadal was broken to trail 2-4. Tsonga appeared to be in control when leading 5-3 and serving for the match but he was broken by Nadal.

The 17th-seeded Frenchman was again broken in the 11th, double-faulting before hitting another forehand long for the Spaniard to go 6-5 up. Urged on by the crowd, Nadal served out to seal victory, clinching the final point with an overhead smash.

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