INDIAN WELLS: Erratic serving cost Andy Murray dearly as the US Open champion was knocked out of the BNP Paribas Open quarter-finals 6-7 6-3 6 1 by Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro on Friday.
Though the British world number three edged a close first set 7-5 on the tiebreak, he lost serve once in the second and three times in the third to make a premature exit from the ATP Masters 1000 event at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Seventh-seeded Del Potro will next face world number one Novak Djokovic, who was barely tested as he demolished Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3 6-1 earlier on Friday to extend his unbeaten run to 22 matches.
The first two quarter-finals were completed on Thursday, Rafa Nadal continuing his impressive comeback by thumping long-time rival Roger Federer 6-4 6-2 and Czech Tomas Berdych sweeping past big-serving South African Kevin Anderson 6-4 6-4.
"It was a tough match, I didn't serve particularly well," Murray told reporters after serving eight aces and eight double faults during a match lasting just over two-and-a-half hours.
Asked if he had played the game he wanted to play against the 6ft-6in (1.98 metre) Del Potro, Murray replied: "I could've served better and returned better, two pretty important parts of the game."
Del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, was delighted to beat Murray for the first time in five meetings on hard courts.


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