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Barcelona Open: World Number 9 Sends No 1 Packing

World number one Andy Murray has been knocked out of the Barcelona Open at the semi-final stage after suffering a 6-2 3-6 6-4 loss to Dominic Thiem.

The Briton was broken three times in losing the first set in 34 minutes.

But although he battled back to level the match, Austrian world number nine Thiem won in two hours and 13 minutes to set up a final against Rafael Nadal.

Elsewhere, British number four Aljaz Bedene beat Serb Laslo Djere 6-2 6-4 to reach the Hungarian Open final.

Having lost both previous meetings with Murray on hard courts, Thiem found the Spanish clay much more to his liking as he secured his first victory against a world number one.

Murray’s three-set win over Albert Ramos-Vinolas on Friday took a minute less than three hours and he made a sluggish start in the face of Thiem’s array of winners.

However, the Scot responded in determined fashion, twice staving off break points to take the second set in 48 minutes.

However, in a fluctuating deciding set, the three-time Grand Slam winner hesitated over a smash and instead sent a wild forehand way beyond the baseline, which took Thiem to match point.

The 23-year-old’s impressive victory was duly completed when the Scotsman’s lob drifted wide.

“In that last game, I missed a couple shots I shouldn’t have,” said Murray.

“It was quite windy out there and difficult to get into a rhythm but I got three matches in three days against different types of player, which will be good for me.”

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