Andy Murray remains well below his best with Wimbledon less than a week away.
The 31-year-old Scot on Wednesday lost 6-4, 6-4 to second-seeded Kyle Edmund in an all-British clash in the second round of the Nature Valley International.
It was Murray’s second defeat in three matches since his return from long-term hip problems that sidelined him for almost a year.
Photo: AP / Press Association
“Beating Andy is a bit strange, he’s always been my idol, and then I’ve got to know him well over the years,” Edmund said.
“He’s always given me advice and I’ve looked up to him,” he said.
“It’s something I’ve never experienced before, to beat someone who you’ve really looked up to like I have with Andy,” he added.
Edmund, who took over as Britain’s No. 1 while Murray was injured, broke serve and then saved three break points to take the opening set.
The 23-year-old right-hander then broke again to seize a 3-2 lead in the second set at the end of a grueling 15-minute game when Murray double-faulted.
Edmund broke once more to leave him serving for the match and, although Murray broke back, it merely delayed the inevitable.
The quarter-finals are to pit Edmund against Kazahkstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin, who saved seven break points to beat sixth-seeded David Ferrer 6-2, 6-0.
Top-seeded Diego Schwartzman was upset by Lukas Lacko, who triumphed 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 to claim the biggest win of his career.
The Slovakian next faces wild card Cameron Norrie, who beat fellow Briton Jay Clarke 6-4, 6-3.
Other seeds to crash out were Steve Johnson of the US and Argentine Leonardo Mayer.
Third-seeded Denis Shapovalov progressed after the Canadian teenager hit 11 aces to beat Jared Donaldson of the US 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
Fourth seed Marco Cecchinato of Italy recorded the first grass-court win of his career, a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 result against 2015 finalist Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan.
In the women’s draw, Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei fell to a 6-0, 6-4 defeat to Australian eighth seed Ashleigh Barty, while top seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark reached the quarter-finals by beating Johanna Konta of Britain 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.
Konta had not dropped a set against Wozniacki in their two previous meetings at last year’s Australian Open and the final of last year’s Miami Open.
Konta broke the world No. 2 in the opening game before the British No. 1 responded to dropping her own serve by breaking again to go 4-3 up and eventually taking the set.
However, Wozniacki responded impressively by racing through the next two sets and sealed victory with an ace on her second match point.
She next faces Barty.
Second-seeded Karolina Pliskova made light work of No. 14 Barbora Strycova, dispatching her fellow Czech 6-3, 6-4.
The defending champion next plays Aryna Sabalenka, who beat Elise Mertens.
Fourth-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany beat Danielle Collins of the US 6-1, 6-1 to set up a quarter-final against seventh-seeded Russian Daria Kasatkina.
Third-seeded Petra Kvitova pulled out with a hamstring injury before her third-round match against Agnieszka Radwanska.
The Polish player next meets fifth-seeded Jelena Ostapenko after the Estonian dismissed Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-1, 6-2.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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