Murray crashes out in Rotterdam
8:26pm Friday 14th February 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Britain's Andy Murray bowed out of the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam after a straight-sets defeat to Marin Cilic on Friday night.
Murray, the world number six, was broken on his very first service game and never really looked comfortable thereafter as Cilic eased to a 6-3 6-4 win in 71 minutes.
The Scot's disappointing night was summed up when leading 40-0 and on the brink of a crucial break-back in the second set, as he allowed Cilic back to deuce before the Croatian held for a vital 4-2 lead.
Wimbledon champion Murray was seeded second in Rotterdam but never lived up to that billing in an off-colour performance.
Behind from the start after he was broken immediately at the beginning of the first set, Murray could not find the form which saw him help Great Britain claim a historic win over the United States in the Davis Cup earlier this month.
There were signs that Murray, who only recently returned to action following a back injury, was off his game when he was taken to three sets by Austrian qualifier Dominic Thiem in the previous round.
And against superior opposition in the shape of Cilic, he was duly punished.
Having lost the first set, Murray threw in a double fault which summed up the way he was playing.
And he let the his frustration at his poor form get the better of him, angrily berating himself on court.
There was worse to come though as, having been broken to go 3-2 down, he forged a great chance to get back into the match.
He took Cilic to 0-30 on the Croatian's serve, then was handed three break points when his opponent dumped what should have been an easy winner into the net.
Even then though Murray could not take advantage as Cilic stormed back to take the game, effectively ending Murray's resistance.