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Andy Murray suffers early exit to Benoit Paire at Open Sud de France in Montpellier

Andy Murray suffers another early exit as Frenchman Benoit Paire fights back to win in three sets in Montpellier; tennis returns to Sky Sports with action from Marseille, Rotterdam, Rio & Acapulco with the WTA heading to Abu Dhabi and San Diego

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The best of the action as Andy Murray suffered an early exit at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier on Monday

Andy Murray stormed off after suffering a three-set defeat to Benoit Paire in the opening round of the Open Sud de France in Montpellier to continue his disappointing start to 2024.

Murray, who exited both the Brisbane International and the Australian Open after his opening match, won the opening set and appeared to be on course for a spot in the second round.

But enigmatic Frenchman Paire fought back to land his first Top 50 win since the 2022 Australian Open with a 2-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 success at the ATP 250 event after two hours and 43 minutes.

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Murray ran out of challenges and was left enraged with the umpire after a close call didn't go his way, ultimately costing him the match against Paire

Former world No 1 Murray raced into a 3-0 lead in the opening set after breaking Paire's first service game and broke the Frenchman for a second time in the eighth game to wrap it up 6-2 in 38 minutes.

World No 112 Paire, who hadn't won a match since Washington in 2022, responded by breaking Murray in the opening game of the second set and after the Briton broke back to level it up at 4-4, it headed for a tie-break.

Murray, 36, won three successive points from 5-1 down and saved a set point to claw it back to 6-5, but lost the next point on his serve and Paire clinched the tie-break 7-5 to level the match.

After both players had lost their serve early in the decider, there was a controversial moment in the seventh game when Paire's dipping return was ruled in much to Murray's surprise.

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Paire then opened a 5-3 and 40-0 lead when Murray was booed for changing his racket.

The Scot went on to save four match points but it was Paire who eventually got over the winning line leaving a frustrated Murray to stomp off court

Murray, who has said this year could be his last on tour if he is "not enjoying it", lost in the opening round to Grigor Dimitrov in Brisbane and fell to Tomas Martin Etcheverry in straight sets at the Australian Open.

Andy Murray vs Benoit Paire at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier
Image: Murray vs Paire: Tale of the Tape

Andy Murray last nine matches

World Ranking 112 - Paire Lost

WR 32 - Etcheverry L

WR 13 - Dimitrov L

WR 10 - De Minaur L

WR 32 - Etcheverry L

WR 52 - Hanfmann W

WR 36 - Safiullin L

WR 10 - De Minaur L

WR 39 - Karatsev L

Paire will next play a French wild card - Harold Mayot or Lucas Pouille in the second round on Wednesday.

Michael Mmoh earned his first tour-level indoor hard-court win, defeating Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi 6-3 7-5 to reach the second round.

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