Uncomfortable Andy Murray bows out in Mallorca as he loses to world No 240

Andy Murray's defeat im Mallorca is a setback in his comeback following hip surgery. Picture: PA.
Andy Murray's defeat im Mallorca is a setback in his comeback following hip surgery. Picture: PA.
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Andy Murray’s winning run at the Rafa Nadal Open was halted by world No 240 Matteo Viola, who won 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3).

Murray, competing in an ATP Challenger Tour event for the first time since 2005, had secured back-to-back wins in Mallorca as he continues his comeback from hip surgery, but came unstuck against an inspired opponent.

The 32-year-old Scot struggled to maintain his performance levels after breaking Viola’s serve twice to win the first set in 51 minutes, but never recovered after falling 3-0 behind in the second. Although he fought back from 2-0 down after losing his opening service game in the final set, he did not produce his best.

Both players held serve from 2-2 to force a tiebreak, which Viola went on to dominate, winning the first three points and going 6-2 up.

Murray hit a brilliant forehand return on Viola’s first match point but served a double fault on his second to hand the Italian the match.

Murray did not look comfortable against Viola, whose highest career singles ranking is 118. The three-time major winner will consider his defeat a setback as he builds up his match fitness after having a metal hip implanted in January in a bid to save his career.