LONDON (AP) — Andy Murray was denied his 20th successive win on grass when he was beaten 7-6 (10), 6-2 by Radek Stepanek in the third round at Queen's Club on Thursday.
Murray, the defending champion and No. 3 seed, claimed his first match win at Queen's in 2005 and went on to win the Wimbledon warmup three times.
But he failed to take advantage of eight set points after leading the first-set tiebreaker 6-2, and Stepanek survived to convert with his second set point.
A break to lead 1-0 in the second set put Stepanek firmly on the road to victory, and a further break to lead 5-2 left him serving for only his second win over Murray in seven meetings.
Murray's last defeat on grass was against Roger Federer in the 2012 Wimbledon final. Since then, he had won the 2012 London Olympics which was played at Wimbledon, and the 2013 Queen's and Wimbledon titles.
"I have only got myself to blame that I lost the first set," Murray said. "I don't know how many set points I had, but quite a lot of them were on my serve. On this surface, especially, you shouldn't really be losing sets like that. For me, that's what's disappointing really about the match.
"And then, yeah, unfortunately got broke in the first game of the second set. I couldn't quite get it back."
Despite his defeat, the Roland Garros semifinalist has no concerns as he heads toward the defense of his Wimbledon title.
"I don't think so," he said. "I need to spend time on the courts practicing some things. You know, the difference between this year and last year is I played a lot of matches the last couple of weeks at the French Open. Since the Monday before the French Open, I have played every single day bar one up to now.
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