INDIAN WELLS (California) • Tennis world No. 1 Andy Murray crashed out of the ATP Indian Wells Masters on Saturday, toppled in straight sets by 129th-ranked Canadian qualifier Vasek Pospisil.
"I felt like I had the ability to do it, but going through it is another thing," Pospisil, a former Wimbledon doubles champion, said after notching the biggest singles win of his career 6-4, 7-6 (7-5). "I just tried to stay composed."
Murray, coming off his first title of the year in Dubai, again came up short in Indian Wells, where his best showing is a 2009 runner-up finish to Rafael Nadal.
He was at a loss to explain his erratic results in the California desert.
"I don't know exactly why it is, because in practice here normally I play pretty well," the Scot said. "And then some years I played well. Some years it just hasn't quite happened for me."
Murray was particularly disappointed that he dropped the first set after twice going up a break.
But a lacklustre service effort, including seven double faults, spelt disaster in the face of Pospisil's aggressive attack.
The 26-year-old Canadian had the Stadium Court crowd solidly behind him as he battled at the net.
Trailing 2-4 in the first set, Pospisil won six straight games as he went up a break in the second before Murray broke back to level at 2-2.
They went with serve to the tie- breaker, in which Murray's double fault gave Pospisil a 3-1 lead. Murray saved one match point with a service winner before holding off his opponent on two more. But Pospisil finally put away the fourth with a forehand winner.
"I started a little bit kind of tentative," Pospisil said. "I was playing better as the match was going on.
"It's not every day you're close to beating the No. 1 player in the world. So I did well to kind of stick with the process and not really get distracted."
Murray, who endured a disappointing fourth-round exit at the Australian Open, was left to regroup before the Miami Masters which starts next week.
French seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also fell at the first hurdle, stunned 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 6-4 by Fabio Fognini.
The Italian, 43rd in the world, notched his first win over the eighth-ranked Tsonga in five career meetings.
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