Andy Murray blew seven match points and lost his Paris Masters opener to lucky loser Dominik Koepfer of Germany 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(9).
Murray was let down by his serve — nine double faults and landing only 49% of his first serves — and 36 unforced errors.
The two-time Olympic champion got off to a poor start and dropped the opening set with a shanked forehand return. Koepfer led 6-4, 5-3 but Murray raised his game and won four straight games to level the set score.
In the decider, Koepfer saved two match points at 5-4 with a smash and a backhand winner before saving five more in the tiebreaker. They went for three hours.
“I didn’t deserve to win the match. I didn’t play well enough to win,” Murray said.
“I had a ton of opportunities at the end to do it, but the way that I was playing tonight was not good enough.”
Murray’s fellow Briton Cameron Norrie stayed in contention for one of the two remaining ATP Finals spots by cruising past Federico Delbonis of Argentina 6-2, 6-1.
Also reaching the second round were Sebastian Korda of the United States, Marton Fucsovics of Hungary, Ilya Ivashka of Belarus, and Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan.
The results: First round: Reilly Opelka bt Filip Krajinovic 6-3, 7-6(4); James Duckworth bt Roberto Bautista 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(4); Felix Auger-Aliassime bt Gianluca Mager 4-6, 6-4, 6-1; Tommy Paul bt Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 6-4.
Dominik Koepfer bt Andy Murray 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(9); Alexander Bublik bt Dan Evans 2-6, 7-5, 7-5; Adrian Mannarino bt Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-2, 6-4; Hugo Gaston bt Arthur Rinderknech 4-6, 6-4, 6-3; Ilya Ivashka bt Albert Ramos 6-3, 7-6(2).
Cameron Norrie bt Federico Delbonis 6-2, 6-1; Sebastian Korda bt Aslan Karatsev 6-2, 6-7(9), 7-6(5); Marton Fucsovics bt Fabio Fognini 6-1, 6-7(6), 7-6(5); Dusan Lajovic bt Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 6-4.
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