13th November 2010, 02:55 PM
Murray falls to Monfils in Paris
Andy Murray's run in the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris ended on Friday night as he fell to a quarter-final defeat to Gael Monfils.
The British number one and number three seed recovered from an out-of-sorts showing in the opening set to take the match the distance, but was undone by his opponent who went on to take a 6-2 2-6 6-3 win.
Monfils will now face Roger Federer in the semi-finals, while Murray will return to England to prepare for the World Tour Finals in London which start next weekend.
Murray, who had no strapping to support the wrist injury he has been struggling with, served out to love in the opening game of the match but was broken the next time he served, with Monfils displaying unerring accuracy to cement the break.
The Scot stayed with him briefly before being broken again. He thought he had staved off the break when he successfully challenged a call, but Monfils was soon breaking through his defences again to take the set 6-2.
The roles were reversed in the second set, as Murray found some rhythm with his serve and applied enough pressure on Monfils to earn three break points in the sixth game, taking the second of them at the net.
Monfils had a point to break back in the next game but Murray won three quick points to cement the break, before winning the set 6-2 with another break as Monfils sent a weak forehand into the net.
Murray started the deciding set by serving to love and the Frenchman prevailed in a lengthy rally in the second game as both players hunted a crucial error, and, after a further hold apiece, it was Murray that blinked first.
He had already saved two break points but, when a double fault at deuce was followed by an errant forehand, Monfils had the advantage.
Some powerful serving allowed him to confirm the break and he saw the match out with another break, teed up by a delicious looping forehand down the line.
Afterwards, Monfils said that his aggressive approach had given him the advantage.
He told Sky Sports 4: "I was very aggressive from the start and did that for all the match.
"I was more aggressive than Andy today, it was a good tactic.
"I will try and find a solution to beat Roger. I'm down five or six matches to him and hopefully it will be the first time I beat him.
"I'm in Paris and I will try my best to make him run and make it tough."
For his part Murray, who admitted to feeling off-colour, accepted that he had not been at his best.
He said: "I just tried to keep the points shortish.
"It worked in the middle set but didn't really work in the third set as well.
"Obviously the atmosphere is great and you can lift your game a little bit.
"I wasn't feeling perfect going into the match and it can lift you. We had some good points. They support their home player very, very well here."
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