World No1 – who turned 30 on Monday – continues to struggle for consistency on his return from an elbow injury
ANDY MURRAY suffered another early exit as he lost in straight sets to Fabio Fognini at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.
The world No1 – who turned 30 on Monday – continues to struggle for consistency on his return from an elbow injury.
He reached the semi-finals in Barcelona only to then be knocked out of the Madrid Open by Croatia’s Borna Coric, the world No41.
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Fognini – ranked 29th – delighted the home crowd in Tuesday’s late-night contest under the floodlights by breaking Murray.
He went on to take a 3-0 lead before closing out the set 6-2 with a love service.
Defending champion Muzza found himself under constant pressure in the second set, when his serve failed again as Fognini opened up a 4-1 advantage.
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There was a brief recovery by Murray as a break and a hold saw him trail 4-5.
Fognini, though, maintained his dominance to serve out victory and secure a first win over a top-ranked player.