Ailing Andy Murray makes early Madrid Masters exit

Defending champions Nadal and Williams have little trouble advancing to quarter-finals
Andy Murray of Great Britain stretches for a shot during his match against Santiago Giraldo of Colombia at the Mutua Madrid Open on May 8, 2014, in Madrid, Spain. Julian Finney / Getty Images
Andy Murray of Great Britain stretches for a shot during his match against Santiago Giraldo of Colombia at the Mutua Madrid Open on May 8, 2014, in Madrid, Spain. Julian Finney / Getty Images

MADRID // Andy Murray hit error after error on Thursday and was eliminated from the Madrid Masters in the third round.

The Wimbledon champion lost to 46th-ranked Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 6-2. Murray’s play was erratic throughout the match against the Colombian qualifier, who earned his first career victory against a top-10 player in 20 attempts.

The eighth-ranked Murray cited his split from coach Ivan Lendl alongside his “inconsistent” play.

“My coach is missing. That’s quite a big part of my team,” Murray said. “I didn’t envision a finish like that. I need to sit down and think about that the next couple of days and see what I need to do.”

Defending champions Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams had little trouble reaching the quarter-finals at the clay-court tournament, both winning in straight sets.

Nadal had not lost a quarter-final on clay in nine years until last month in Monte Carlo and he repeated the disappointing feat in Barcelona. On Thursday, Nadal let a 3-1 lead in the second set slip before beating Jarkko Nieminen of Finland 6-1, 6-4.

“For one hour probably I was playing the best tennis that I played for the last three weeks,” Nadal said. “After that I committed errors, so what I need to do is find more consistency.”

Nadal will next face sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych, who beat Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Kei Nishikori of Japan improved to 8-0 on clay this year with a 7-6, 7-6 win over Milos Raonic of Canada.

Williams earned her 650th career victory with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Carla Suarez Navarro. Williams, in pursuit of her 60th title, hit 27 winners to her Spanish opponent’s five.

“She made me work for every point and it wasn’t an easy win,” Williams said. “She just won last week, so she is definitely not an easy player to play.”

Williams next faces fifth-seeded Petra Kvitova, who beat Lucie Safarova 6-4, 6-3.

Australian Open champion Li Na and Maria Sharapova will meet in the quarter-finals after both won their third-round matches.

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Published: May 8, 2014 04:00 AM

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