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Andy Murray was defeated in straight sets by Janko Tipsarevic in his opening match of the new season.
Murray, the world number three, looked off his game as he fell to a 6-3 6-4 loss against Tipsarevic on the opening day of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship.
The Serbian progressed to the semi-finals with the victory, where he will face Spain's world number 11 Nicolas Almagro, who came in as a late replacement following the withdrawal of Rafael Nadal due to a stomach virus.
The match started off fairly evenly and continued on serve until Murray was broken in the fourth game by Tipsarevic, who went on to take the first set.
Murray opened the second with an ace, but Tipsarevic, who is ranked ninth in the current ATP standings, hit back to pile on the pressure by claiming an immediate break of serve.
The set progressed with the reigning US Open champion trailing the 28-year-old at 5-3 after some loose play.
Serving to stay in the match, the Scot handed the advantage to his opponent with a double-fault, before a cross-court winner and shot down the line helped him on the way to making it 5-4 in the second set.
Tipsarevic still had the chance to serve for victory and earned himself two match points as Murray was unable to clear a smash to the baseline.
The Serbian duly served out the game and booked his place in the semi-finals and a match against Almagro.
After the match, Tipsarevic told ESPN: "I am happy with my game. I know it's an exhibition match but it's not every day you get to play a grand slam champion and an Olympic gold medal winner.
"I'm just happy I managed to play good tennis tonight.
"Everyone is pumped up and it's the beginning of the season, so If I can get a few more victories heading to the Australian Open that would be brilliant."
Murray, who now heads to the Brisbane International which starts on Sunday, said: "I'm looking forward to training very hard and playing some of my best tennis next year.
"It's nice to play in events like this and it's a great atmosphere to play in."
David Ferrer also booked his place in the semi-finals with a straight-sets win over Tomas Berdych.
The world number five carried over his best form from last season to ease to a 6-2 6-4 win and earn himself a last-four meeting with Novak Djokovic.
The Spaniard dominated the opening set and raced to a 5-0 lead before the Czech won his first game, eventually breaking Ferrer's serve, but it was not enough to stop the 30-year-old from claiming the set.
Berdych increased his intensity in the second set and matched his opponent game for game until Ferrer made the decisive break to ease ahead at 5-4.
It left Ferrer to serve for the match, which he duly did to line up an encounter with world number one Djokovic on Friday.