Murray slumps to defeat in Japan
Andy Murray suffered his third straight defeat on the ATP Tour as he went down to Jiri Novak in the second round of the Japan Open.
The 19-year-old Briton, who had a bye through the first round, went down 6-3 7-6 (7-1) to 31-year-old Novak.
Murray fought back from 4-1 down in the second set but was no match for the Czech in the tie-break.
"Every single young player goes through a patch where he's not playing well," said fourth seed Murray.
"You can't expect to get to the semi-finals every week - unless you're Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal.
"They are the only two who can do it. I wasn't looking that far ahead."
Murray lost to Tim Henman in his opening match in Bangkok last week.
"It's not like I lost to bad players," said Murray. "Henman has been at the top of the game for a long time. Novak was number five in the world (in 2002).
"I did well to fight back into the match but unfortunately I couldn't quite turn it around."