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Tennis | ATP

Andy Murray © Getty Images

Murray crashes out in Rome opener



Defending champion Andy Murray slumped to another worrying defeat on Tuesday after losing his second-round match at the Rome Masters 6-2, 6-4 to Fabio Fognini.

Murray limped to another premature exit with flamboyant shotmaker Fognini bossing the Scottish top seed around at will and breaking him four times.

Murray succumbed to the Italian in just over 90 minutes and has major work to do before the start of Roland Garros in less than a fortnight.

He hasn't reached the quarterfinal of a major event in 2017, with the loss to Fognini his seventh of the season.

"I'm sure there were a lot of things I could have done better. He obviously he started the match extremely well," said Murray.

"I wasn't creating enough chances on my own. The only chance I really got was when he was making errors.

"I definitely felt a little bit better... but still not close to where I would like to be, obviously."

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Four-time Rome champion Novak Djokovic, meanwhile, overcame Britain's Aljaz Bedene 7-6 (7/2), 6-2 for a place in the third round.

The world No 2 came through a tight opening set by dominating the tiebreaker before finishing off his victory amid a smattering of jeers from the crowd.

The Serb lost to Rafael Nadal in last week's Madrid semifinals, but his quick start on Tuesday was just the tonic for Djokovic, who has never failed to reach the last eight in Rome.

"It was a little bit of a slower start, Bedene is the kind of player that gives you good rhythm. I had some good exchanges, some good games with rallies and it felt right, especially in the second set," Djokovic said.

"I played a great tiebreak, served very well when I needed to. I just wish that I had started a little bit sharper. But hopefully the next one will be good."



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