London 2012 Olympic champion Andy Murray retired from his second- round match against Spaniard Marcel Granollers at the Italian Open.
It was Murray’s 26th birthday and the second time he was retiring from a game in his career.
The first was back in 2007 when Murray snapped a tendon in his wrist during a match in Hamburg, which coincidentally was also on his birthday.
This time the Scot was treated for what appeared to be a left hip problem early in the second set having lost the first and quick exit was beckoning.
From 4-1 down, Murray battled back to level the match on a tie- break only to then retire midway through the match.
In their two previous meetings, Murray had beaten the world No. 37, but the Spaniard produced a consistent display of attacking tennis to win the first set 6-3 with a single break of serve in the sixth game.
Murray fought had at the start of a lengthy second set, saving five break points, but Granollers responded superbly for whatever pattern the British No. 1 threw at him and took his sixth chance.
Murray hit straight back only for Granollers to make it three breaks in a row, and at the change of ends the world No. 3 was flat on his back receiving treatment.
Murray who is fond of grasping at his left hip had more trouble than usual in the game, which became obvious when he meekly dropped his serve again.
Granoller had two points for a 5-1 lead but Murray roused himself to retrieve one break and then remarkably made it three games in a row to level.
With the wind dusting up the clay, Granollers broke again to serve for the match but back came Murray, and he clinched the set 7-5 on tie- break when his opponent pushed a forehand long.
Murray would have gone into the deciding set as favourite, but took the crowd and opponent by surprise when he opted for a hand- shake, packing away his racquet and walking off court.
Murray, who has tipped Rafael Nadal as favourite for the French Open, has his own campaign beclouded by doubts.