Andy Murray has been knocked out of the Monte Carlo masters, losing in three sets to the Czech Tomas Berdych.
Murray was looking to get the clay-court season underway on a positive note, but will be a spectator for this weekend's semi-finals.
The match had started well for the British number one, as he battled back from giving away five break points to claim a 7-4 tie-break victory.
The opening set had gone with serve, but Murray looked under real pressure in the eighth game. A combination of unforced errors by the Czech and Murray's doggedness levelled at 4-4.
Despite that early advantage, Murray began to struggle early in the second set, losing his serve in the second game and allowing the Czech a 3-1 lead. He was unable to recover from the setback and lost the second set 6-2.
The loss of the second set clearly rattled the Scotsman, and he was broken in the opening game of the deciding set.
Murray's serve was not troubling the Czech, and despite immediately breaking back to level the match, he again lost his serve in the third match and smashed his racket in frustration.
Despite attempting a trademark comeback, Berdych completed his victory in the ninth game with a forehand down the line.
Reflecting on the victory, Berdych told Sky Sports: "It was another tough but really good match.
"It's tough to say what was key. I'm trying to play my game, trying to play aggressive. That's key for my game and if it's working I have the game to beat anybody, even Andy.
"The win over Andy gives me a lot of confidence for the next match."