BARCELONA, Spain (AP) World No. 1 Andy Murray lost to Dominic Thiem of Austria 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in the Barcelona Open semifinals on Saturday.
Murray's defeat came a week after he exited the third round at Monte Carlo. That loss prompted Murray to enter Barcelona to whip up some form for the French Open following a right elbow injury.
Nine-time winner Rafael Nadal played Horacio Zeballaos of Argentina in the other semifinal later Saturday.
Thiem started strong, breaking Murray's first two service games before adding a third break en route to taking the first set.
The ninth-ranked Thiem had a break point in the second set, but Murray held serve and broke him back to even the match at a set apiece.
Murray was again in trouble at 4-2 down in the decisive set, and folded when he failed to successfully return Thiem's deep lob on match point.
It was Thiem's first win in three meetings against Murray.