Andy Murray loses to Egor Gerasimov in Montpellier
The encounter lasted for an hour and 44 minutes, and Murray stayed in touch with the Belarusian in the opening set. The Briton wasted a set point at 7-6 and lost the ground after that, losing the breaker 10-8 and fading from the court in set number two to propel Gerasimov over the top.
Seeking the first ATP win since the last year's US Open, Murray created two break chances and converted one in the opening set while he was already behind, suffering three breaks to finish his campaign in the first round and set eyes on the next week's ATP 500 event in Rotterdam.
Both players served well in the opening six games before Egor landed a deep return to grab a break at 30 and open a 4-3 lead. The Briton pulled the break back in the next game with a crafty drop shot that pushed him back to the positive side. Four comfortable holds later, the players reached a tie break that saw 18 points. Murray saved two set points at 4-6 and created a set point with a service winner. Gerasimov saved it with an unreturned serve and converted the fourth set point at 9-8 with an ace after 70 minutes.
With momentum on his side, Egor raced into a 5-0 lead with a double break in set number two, closing the fifth game with an ace and creating a match point on the return a few minutes later. Andy prevented a bagel with a forehand down the line winner before Gerasimov sealed the deal with an ace down the T line in game seven for the place in the second round.