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Page last updated at 15:34 GMT, Wednesday, 14 April 2010 16:34 UK

Andy Murray thrashed by Philipp Kohlschreiber in Monaco

Monte Carlo Masters
Venue: Monte Carlo Country Club Date: 10-18 April
Coverage: Reports on the BBC Sport website and 5 live. Also live on Sky Sports

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I played badly - Murray

Briton Andy Murray paid the price for a lacklustre display as he slumped to a 6-2 6-1 defeat by Philipp Kohlschreiber at the Monte Carlo Masters.

The world number four has been in poor form since losing the Australian Open final and struggled again in his first clay-court match of the season.

Murray, who had a bye into the second round, made several unforced errors and gave the world number 33 few problems.

He lost his serve five times in what was an embarrassing loss to the German.

"I wasn't very good today," said Murray, whose first-serve percentage fell as low as 32% during the second set.

"It was the first time in a few years that the court felt so small. I just could not find the court. When it's like that, it's difficult to play.

606: DEBATE

"I tried different things. I tried serve and volleying a couple of times. I tried hitting some high balls. It did not really make a whole lot of difference."

Murray had left Monte Carlo off his schedule initially. But after losing his opening match in Miami, and with next month's French Open in mind, he accepted a wildcard.

Having produced impressive displays on clay last season, including reaching the semi-finals of this event, the Scot must have hoped that those good memories would help kick-start his 2010 campaign.

But he just could not find that X-factor. The stamina and agility that set him apart from most of his opponents last season was strangely missing.

The 22-year-old also appeared very hesitant with his strokes, unwilling to be brave with shot selection and often finding the net with under-hit strokes.

By the sixth game of the first set, Murray had already been broken twice and had made 11 unforced errors.

In recent seasons, he has been able to call on his mental resolve to pull himself out of tricky situations, and he began the second set well, finding accuracy with his serve in the opening game.

But in the third game, he lost his rhythm again, his usually reliable forehand letting him down and handing his opponent the first break.

I made not many mistakes and I had a lot of power in my game. I think I played really well

Philipp Kohlschreiber

He was broken again in the fifth, when his first-serve percentage was down to 32%, and in the seventh, which turned out to be the final game of a match that Murray would sooner forget.

In contrast, 26-year-old Kohlschreiber, who now faces compatriot Philipp Petzschner for a place in the quarter-finals, felt his performance was one of the best of his career.

"It was almost a perfect match from beginning to end," he said.

"I made not many mistakes and I had a lot of power in my game. I think I played really well.

"I feel great and such a victory gives me a lot of confidence."

Earlier on Wednesday, five-time defending champion Rafael Nadal and top seed Novak Djokovic came through their opening matches with ease.

Djokovic, last year's runner-up, breezed to a 6-2 6-3 win over Florent Serra of France, while Nadal began his bid for a sixth straight Monte Carlo title with a 6-1 6-0 thrashing of Dutchman Thiemo de Bakker.

World number one Roger Federer has opted to skip the event, the first of three Masters 1000 tournaments in the lead-up to the French Open, which begins on 23 May.



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see also
Murray out to protect world ranking
10 Apr 10 |  Tennis
Murray enters Monte Carlo Masters
03 Apr 10 |  Tennis
Fish punishes out-of-sorts Murray
27 Mar 10 |  Tennis
Murray bows out in Indian Wells
20 Mar 10 |  Tennis
Federer ends Murray's Slam dream
31 Jan 10 |  Tennis


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