Andy Murray’s claycourt campaign, aided by new coach Alex Corretja, hit another snag on Wednesday when he was upset by Argentine qualifier Juan Monaco 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 at the Masters-Rome.
“It wasn’t my best match, but I was still very close to winning,” Murray said. “I’ve found ways of coming through when I haven’t been playing my best early in tournaments this year. On the clay, that’s something that I need to maybe try and work out a little bit more. I’m not going to be too disappointed. I would have liked to have got my sort of run going, but I’ve had a great eight months — haven’t lost early for a long time. I knew it was going to happen sometime — just got to move on and realize that I’ve been playing much better this year than I was last year on clay.”
Monaco led 4-2 in the third set before Murray fought back to 5-4 before the Argentine closed it out.
“At the beginning I think I very nervous,” Monaco told reporters. “Then the second set I started thinking to be a bit calmer. I was trying to hit the ball very hard in the first set, and that wasn’t tactic to play against Andy. Then I play calm like six, seven balls every game, every point, try to make him a little bit tired.”
Russian Nikolay Davydenko was another seeded upset, losing to Austrian Jurgen Melzer 7-5, 7-6(5).
No. 13 seed Tommy Robredo of Spain, beating Philipp Kohlschreiber, and No. 15 seed Marin Cilic, beating Christophe Rochus in three sets, advanced to the third round. No. 23 Richard Gasquet won an all-French meeting with No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6(2), 6-4, then beat Ernests Gulbis later in the day in the rain-backed-up schedule.
Barcelona runner-up David Ferrer was another first-round casualty, losing a rain-delayed three-setter to France’s Paul-Henri Mathieu.
Other winners Wednesday were No. 1 Rafael Nadal and No. 2 Roger Federer, No. 6 Fernando Verdasco topping American Mardy Fish in three sets, and seeds No. 10 Stan Wawrinka, No. 12 Fernando Gonzalez winning in straights, and three-set winners No. 8 Gilles Simon and No. 5 Juan Martin Del Potro.
After defeating Ferrer, Mathieu lost to the German qualifier Zverev 6-0 in the third. No. 16 Radek Stepanek was a two-time winner on the day, outlasting Florent Serra in a long three-setter, then steamrolling Feliciano Lopez 6-2, 6-1.
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