Murray loses to Ramos-Vinolas at Monte Carlo Masters

But up against Spaniard Ramos-Vinolas, the 29-year-old looked some way short of his best form as he suffered a 2-6 6-2 7-5 defeat.

Ramos-Vinolas needed 2 1/2 hours to win, but could have got there faster after leading 5-3 in the tiebreaker - only for Cilic to level the set score with a volley that only just landed in.

Murray, 29, was playing his first tournament since being beaten in the second round at Indian Wells in March.

He sent a backhand wide on his first match point and then clinched victory when Murray's backhand hit the net. Cuevas hit a sweet forehand victor down the line on the next point and raised his arms after beating Wawrinka in their first-ever meeting.

After the Australian Open, Ramos-Vinolas headed to the clay courts of South America, where he achieved consistent results that meant he came into this match with eighteen matches on clay compared to Murray's one.

Ramos-Vinolas then edged ahead, with Murray saving a match point in the final game but the reigning Wimbledon and Olympic champion missed on a drop shot to hand a shock win to his opponent.

Murray began his second-round match against Muller with three double faults in the first four points of the match, and his service game was again an issue against Ramos-Vinolas.

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The 24th-ranked Spaniard reeled off seven of the final eight games shocking world No. 1 Murray, 2-6, 6-2, 7-5, to advance to the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters quarterfinals.

Murray refused to blame the elbow injury that ruled him out of the Miami Open and the recent Davis Cup quarterfinal against France.

"I was really happy with how my elbow felt this week. So hopefully I keep going in the right direction". It got better each day.

It was more a case of Murray being unable to play his natural game. "A few times today, I made some bad decisions".

In a match between powerful hitters, Cilic was serving for victory at 5-4.

Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts after defeating Germany's Alexander Zverev during their third round match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters in Monaco, Thursday April 20, 2017.

Former French Open and Monte Carlo champion Stan Wawrinka followed Murray out after losing to Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 6-4, 6-4.

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