Murray loses to Ramos-Vinolas at Monte Carlo Masters

Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas outgunned the Briton in a contested encounter 2-6 6-2 7-5.

Pouille reached the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open and Wimbledon a year ago in his breakthrough season. "I'm going to need to obviously improve my serving over the next few weeks".

But it took him just one game of the second set to get on the board and from there it was a different match.

It was Murray's first time back on the ATP since suffering an elbow problem - his last match was a second-round loss to Vasek Pospisil at Indian Wells on March 12.

The three-time Monte Carlo semi-finalist now stands 13-3 on the season and has one title from Dubai in his pocket.

Murray refused to blame the elbow injury that ruled him out of the Miami Open and the recent Davis Cup quarterfinal against France.

Clay has been very profitable for the Scot over the last two years having previously been by far his weakest surface. That's nothing to do with this week.

Progress | Andy Murray feels he has improved in the past few weeks
Progress | Andy Murray feels he has improved in the past few weeks

Djokovic saved the first match point with an ace; the second one on his second serve; the third with a stinging forehand victor and a fourth when Goffin chopped a backhand into the net.

Ahead of today's clash with Ramos-Vinolas, Murray said: "He's always a tough guy to play against".

But there was a surprise exit for Stan Wawrinka after the number three seed joined Murray in departing the tournament at the last-16 stage. Early exits at Australian Open and Indian Wells has not done his confidence any good but the Serb will be motivated to return to form on clay after having a boring season on hard courts. "The feeling was good".

Edmund continued playing well in the third set, managing to break Nada's serve and even winning points where Nadal did nothing wrong. But the Spaniard roared back into the match to take the second and played some sparkling tennis for much of the decider. Physically I'm fine. We'll see what I can do.

"I played well. I played much better than yesterday. In the beginning I was too timid, but by the end my shots were really flowing".

Fifth-seeded Croatian Marin Cilic breezed to a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Frenchman Jeremy Chardy and sixth-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem also cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 win against Robin Haase of the Netherlands.

  • Julie Sanders