Andy Murray crashed out of the Paris Masters today after an enthralling yet petulant and error filled encounter with Tomas Berdych. The Czech took just over three hours to wrap up a 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 victory over the second seed.
Murray looked lethargic from the outset and the unforced error count started to increase alarmingly. Whether this was due to the effects of a long season, a re-occurrence of the hamstring injury that kept him out of Basel, or tiredness due to too much MW3, only the Scot knows.
Berdych dictated play and Murray spent the majority of the match scrambling three meters behind the baseline. This in itself is not unusual, especially in matches against heavy hitting ball strikers, but the Scot's serve - always a mixed proposition - misfired alarmingly.
Murray will be disappointed by the way he twice came from behind only to throw the opportunity away. The Czech served for the second set at 5-4, but a series of tight looking unforced errors gave Murray the break back. In the tiebreak the Scot again fell behind, slipping to 4-2 before rallying to 5-4. Unfortunately a simple forehand miss handed Berdych the crucial final mini break.
In the third set Murray spurned multiple break points before sliding to 0-40 on his own serve. Two break points were saved before the Scot inexplicably double faulted.
Murray will now return to London to begin his preparations for the World Tour Finals at the O2.