Andy Murray crashed out of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters to world number 26, Albert Ramos-Vinolas, in the round of 16 and has hinted that he may take an extended break to aid his recovery from an elbow injury.
The Brit capitulated in the third set of his clash with the Spaniard, surrendering a 4-0 lead and castigating himself after the unforced errors began to clock up.
The world number one had not played a competitive match since March 12 before his win over Gilles Muller on Wednesday and was apprehensive about overexerting himself after a lengthy injury lay-off.
Weighing up the options
Murray had entertained the thought of gaining a wild card entry into next week’s tournament in either Barcelona or Budapest but his early exit in Monte Carlo may force a change of plans.
He said: “I need to decide now whether I go and try to get matches or whether I try to get myself in better shape physically, put as much work in as I can.
“If I was to play Budapest or Barcelona and do well, I would not really have a chance to train much between now and the French Open.
“Whereas if I wasn’t to play next week, I get the chance to put in some hard work, which is maybe what’s needed.”
The next Masters 1000 event on clay, the Mutua Madrid Open, commences on May 8 and the Scot is defending a final performance from last year’s event.
His current position at the summit of the ATP singles rankings is not under immediate threat but Novak Djokovic’s progression to the quarterfinals in Monte Carlo would allow the Serb to reduce the gap, albeit minimally.
Murray's elbow appeared to be holding up fine after claiming the first set 6-2 but from there the tie unraveled for the world number one.
Ramos-Vinolas will face the Croatian Marin Cilic in the last 8.