Andy Murray beaten in Montpellier but Katie Boulter wins to reach Linz Open second round

Andy Murray was beaten in the first round in Montpellier but Katie Boulter won in straight sets in Linz

Andy Murray suffered a first-round exit at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier, but Katie Boulter won to reach the Linz Open second round.

Murray was beaten 2-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 by France’s Benoit Paire.

The 36-year-old, who was also beaten in the first round at the Australian Open, has now won only one of his last eight matches.

British number one Boulter cruised past Italian sixth seed Jasmine Paolini in straight sets in Austria.

Murray looked to be rediscovering his form when he took the first set in just 38 minutes, but Paire hit back to take a much closer set on a tie-break.

Paire then had the better of the decider, eventually taking it 6-3 despite Murray saving four match points.

Three-time Grand Slam champion Murray has now lost all three of his matches in 2024 and slipped to 49th in the world rankings.

The Scot has previously hinted he would think about retiring if he did not enjoy playing this year, having struggled for form in the closing stages of the 2023 season.

Meanwhile, Boulter needed just 76 minutes to wrap up a 6-2 6-2 victory against Paolini, saving all five break points she faced.

The 27-year-old will play Russian world number 42 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the last 16 in Austria.

British number two Jodie Burrage qualified for the main draw with a win over Germany’s Anna-Lena Friedsam.

Burrage lost the first set but recovered to secure a 5-7 6-3 6-2 win in two hours 27 minutes.