Sign up to our free sport newsletter for all the latest news on everything from cycling to boxing
Sign up to our free sport email for all the latest news
Andy Murray remains winless in 2024 after losing in three sets to France’s Benoit Paire in the first round of the Open Sud de France.
Murray, who exited both the Brisbane International and the Australian Open after his opening match, let slip a one-set lead against Paire, currently ranked 112, to lose 6-2 6-7 (5) 3-6 in just short of two and three-quarter hours.
Former world number one Murray raced into a 3-0 lead in the opening set after breaking Paire’s first service game and broke the Frenchman for a second time in the eighth game to wrap it up 6-2 in 38 minutes.
Paire, who reached a career-high ranking of 18 in 2016, responded by breaking Murray in the opening game of the second set and after the Briton broke back to level it up at 4-4, it headed for a tie-break.
Murray won three successive points from 5-1 down and saved a set point to claw it back to 6-5, but lost the next point on his serve and Paire clinched the tie-break 7-5 to level the match.
After both players had lost their serve early in the decider, Paire made the decisive break when 4-3 ahead and served it out to seal an impressive win.
Murray, who has said this year could be his last on tour if he is “not enjoying it”, lost in the opening round to Grigor Dimitrov in Brisbane and fell to Tomas Martin Etcheverry in straight sets at the Australian Open.