Serbian Dusan Lajovic beat Andy Murray 6-4 7-5 at the Miami Open on Wednesday, sending the Briton packing in the first round with his first hardcourt win of the season.
Lajovic thrust his fists to the air after surviving a 16-shot rally on the final point, setting up a meeting with American Maxime Cressy, who won their only prior encounter.
Lajovic drew first blood, breaking the three-times Grand Slam winner to love in the seventh game and kept the momentum going in the second set.
Up a break late in the second set, however, he squandered the advantage with a double fault and a costly unforced error in the 10th game, but found his nerve to break Murray’s serve in the next game.
It was disappointing for Murray, who reached the final in Doha last month. The 35-year-old flung his racquet in frustration after a costly unforced error – one of 15 across the match – late in the affair and told reporters he had expected a better performance from himself.
“I served pretty well, but the rest of the game was a bit of a problem today. Didn’t really return that well. Yeah, made a number of errors that obviously I wouldn’t expect to be making,” Murray said.
“Wasn’t expecting to play like that, even based on the last few days because I’ve been decent in practice.”
Frenchman Gael Monfils was forced to retire with a right wrist injury while tied 3-3 in the first set of his match against countryman Ugo Humbert.
Monfils, 36, winced in pain as he approached the net where he used his left hand to shake Humbert’s hand.
It is the second consecutive first-round exit this month for Monfils, who fell to Australian Jordan Thompson in straight sets at Indian Wells.
Another Frenchman, Arthur Rinderknech, also retire injured during his first-round match against Japan’s Taro Daniel.
Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff beat Italy’s Fabio Fognini 6-4 5-7 6-4 and will next face Bulgarian 21st seed Grigor Dimitrov.
Unheralded Emilio Nava overcame 15 aces from fellow American John Isner to come out on the winning side of two tiebreakers 7-6(5) 7-6(4).
The 21-year-old fired an ace of his own to set up match point and a serve Isner could not get back in play to seal the win, setting up a meeting with another American in ninth seed Taylor Fritz.
Americans JJ Wolf and Brandon Nakashima, Argentine Facundo Bagnis and Australian Alexei Popyrin were among the other players to make it out of the first round at the Masters 1000 tournament on Wednesday.