Sir Andy Murray made a surprise exit from the BNP Paribas Open after losing 6-4 7-6 (7-5) to qualifier Vasek Pospisil at Indian Wells, marking the Canadian’s first victory over the Briton in five meetings.
Pospisil weathered an early barrage from the world No. 1 and recovered to beat Murray with four breaks and a convincing display on his own serve, battering the Scot into submission in straight sets.
Murray has only made the final once in his career at Indian Wells but won’t have the opportunity to better his career-best runner-up finish to Rafael Nadal in 2009.
Reigning champion Novak Djokovic will now be counted as being an even stronger favourite for the title with Murray out of the mix, while Stanislas Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori will also consider their chances boosted.
Speaking to the media after his loss, Murray said: “It was obviously a disappointing one as I had opportunities in the first set but I didn’t serve well enough. I served a few double faults, especially in the first set at important moments, which didn’t help things.”