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Andy Murray suffers straight-sets loss in Stuttgart Open first round

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Andy Murray’s preparations for what is expected to be his final Wimbledon got off to an inauspicious start as he lost in the first round of the Stuttgart Open.

The two-time SW19 champion headed to Germany to get some match practice ahead of his home grand slam which begins next month, but he went down 6-3 6-4 to Marcos Giron.

It was the opposite of what Murray was hoping for and we could be entering the final weeks of the 37-year-old’s stellar career after he hinted at retirement this summer.

He will return to London to play at Queen’s where he dominated for so long in his career, hoping for a longer run than in Germany.

He was off the pace against the world No 54 and fended off early break points, before being broken in the fifth game.

There was never any way back for the Scot and a break in the third game of the second set spelled the end for the veteran.

It meant British No 2 Jack Draper avoided an all-British tie in the second round, instead meeting Giron.

The match marked Murray’s 999th singles match as a tennis player as he continues his comeback trail with Wimbledon in sight.

He has recently returned to action after being out with damaged ankle ligaments suffered at the Miami Open in late March.

The 37-year-old has hinted heavily towards retirement beyond this summer, before which could be final opportunities at both Wimbledon and the Olympics.

Elsewhere, Dan Evans made it through to the second round in Nottingham with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 victory over Dominc Stricker.

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