Monte Carlo Masters: Andy Murray, Wawrinka crash out
Spain's Albert Ramos beat world No-1 Andy Murray in the Monte Carlo Masters Photograph: (Reuters)
Spaniard Albert Ramos dumped world No-1 Andy Murray out of the Monte Carlo Masters 2-6 6-2 7-5 on Thursday after firing back from 4-0 down in the final set to take his place in the quarter-finals.
Murray, who suffered an elbow injury in March and made his return from a five-week layoff on Wednesday after a first-round bye, won the opening set in 48 minutes before losing concentration.
Swiss third seed Stan Wawrinka, the 2015 French Open champion, was also sent packing when he lost to Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas 6-4 6-4 but nine-times champion Rafael Nadal crushed birthday boy Alexander Zverev for the loss of only two games.
Left-hander Ramos ranked 24th in the world and the 15th seed ripped through the second set in 36 minutes and refused to give up after the Scot had romped to a 4-0 advantage in the third with victory beckoning.
"I'm disappointed to lose from the position that I was in. Being 4-0 up in the third, I haven't lost many matches like that in my career," Murray told a news conference.
"He obviously started playing better towards the end of the set. I still had a bunch of chances. I guess both of us did, really. I should have been able to do enough to weather that storm a little bit and finish the match off."
The Spaniard won four games in a row before Murray, his serve misfiring, applied some late pressure. But Ramos was implacable as he won the next two with back-to-back breaks and served for the match.
Murray saved one match point before hitting a return into the net to hand Ramos an impressive victory over his top-ranked opponent in the first European clay court tournament of the season.
In another match, Nadal dropped a set in the second round against Kyle Edmund but was ruthless as he dispatched another young gun, the 20-year-old Zverev who was reduced to trashing rackets in frustration against the Spaniard.
The nine-times French Open champion needed little more than an hour to win 6-1 6-1.