Murray crashes out in Cincinnati
Andy Murray relinquished his Cincinnati Masters title after falling to a straight sets defeat against Jeremy Chardy in the third round.
Murray had beaten the French World number 38 in all of their four previous encounters but looked out of sorts on his own serve and was subsequently punished in a 6-4 6-4 loss.
The early stages of the match suggested Murray would carry on the impressive form he showed against Sam Querrey in round two, serving his fifth ace in game three as the match went with serve.
A missed break point opportunity for Murray at 3-2 was immediately punished by Chardy who capitalised on uncharacteristic errors from Murray to take a 4-3 lead. Chardy saw out the set with two solid serves to take the advantage.
The second set saw both men struggle on their own serve. A mishit forehand and an unforced error gave Chardy an early break. Murray broke back immediately but once more Chardy would grab the initiative with some impressive forehands to take a 2-1 lead.
Both men would again lose their own serve before finally in the sixth game Chardy held to leave Murray clinging on in the match.
Murray had to dig deep to rescue 0-30 and saved another break point with some gutsy serves to trail 4-3.
Chardy needed some luck when at 30-30 he looked likely to lose a rally before Murray hit the net cord.
A crucial hold for Murray meant Chardy had to serve for the match at 5-4. At 30-30 Chardy mustered one last big effort with an ace before a sliced forehand from Murray went wide to see the Frenchman progress to the next round.