By Ros Satar
- Albert Ramos-Vinolas  def. Andy Murray  2-6 6-2 7-5
- Murray was entertaining thought of more match-play next week via a wildcard
MONTE CARLO, MONACO – World No. 1 Andy Murray was knocked out of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters by 15th seed Albert Ramos Vinolas, as he made his tour comeback after an elbow injury.
Albert Ramos-Vinolas  def. Andy Murray  2-6 6-2 7-5
Andy Murray, who was the top seed at the first Masters event on the clay, toiled with Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the early part of the first set as they traded breaks five out of the first six games before Murray book-ended his opening hold to go up 5-2, breaking the Spaniard for the first set.
While the second set was far more competitive, and solid from both players, it was Ramos-Vinolas who took an early lead before the first changeover. Murray kept the gap to a just a single break, but at the business end of the set had a shocker of a game to hand the Spaniard the double-break, as he went on to level the match.
There it looked to be a fait accompli for the Brit, as he shot to a 4-0 lead, and it looked all but over for the Spaniard, who has risen to a career high this year. Nut again a softer game from Murray handed Ramos-Vinolas a break to get on the board and his level continued to rise.
Having levelled at 4-4. Murray was really beginning to stare down the barrel, fighting to hold his serve from 0/40 down, but by now the Spaniard was looking by far the more dominant, breaking for a 6-5 lead before serving it out on his second match point. He reaches his first ATP World Tour Masters 100 quarter-final, and he will face Marin Cilic.
Despite the surprising tail-off from such a strong position, Murray took his progress here as a positive in an interview with Sky Sports, compared to where he had been just a week or so ago. He acknowledged that he expected to be tested over long rallies with Vinolas, who is obviously very comfortable on the surface.
He said: “If I had been offered this result a week-10 days ago I would have taken it. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to play here or not, but right now because of the position I got myself in the match, I’m just really disappointed that I lost. For me personally, it’s progress from where I was 10 days, a couple of weeks ago.
“I was really happy with how my elbow felt this week. It got better each day, but yeah – I’m going to need to obviously improve my serving over the next few weeks.”
Where is Andy Murray Playing Next?
He had hinted the day to reporters that he might consider taking a wildcard in the events next week (ATP 500 Barcelona or ATP 250 Budapest) before the ATP 250 event in Estoril cheekily got in on the act.
— Estoril Open (@EstorilOpen) April 20, 2017
However, given that the Estoril Open is the week before the Madrid and Rome ATP Masters double-header, it is unlikely that Murray would do three tournaments in row with just a week off between then and the start of the French Open. But then, never say never.
Murray will make a decision on his next tournament on Friday.
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