(Reuters) - World number two Andy Murray squandered a 4-1 lead in the third set before losing a tiebreaker to Argentine left-hander Federico Delbonis and exiting the BNP Paribas Open third round 6-4 4-6 7-6(3) in California on Monday.
The second-seeded Scotsman let his commanding lead evaporate on a warm, windy day at Indian Wells and needed to break the 53rd-ranked Delbonis in the 12th game just to force the tiebreaker, which the Argentine won 7-3.
Delbonis took advantage of a series of Murray errors to run off the last five points of the decider to end the two hour, 46 minute struggle in Stadium 1.
"Thanks to everybody here for such an amazing match. It was a very intense match , very passionate, I think," the Argentine said.
Delbonis, who reached quarter-finals this year in Rio and Sao Paulo, varied his strategy against Murray and took advantage of some weakness in the Scot's serve. Murray failed to register a single ace and won less than 50 percent of his second serves.
"I know it was a challenge," said Delbonis. "I have to mix (my shots) all the time.
"In the end, I can do my job and this is what I get."
It was a short appearance in only the second tournament of the year for Murray, who lost in the final of the Australian Open to world number one Novak Djokovic.
In another day match, 12th seed Milos Raonic of Canada advanced to the fourth round 6-3 3-0 when Australian Bernard Tomic retired in the second set.
Tomic had complained about an injured wrist before the match against the hard-serving Raonic
(Reporting by Larry Fine; Editing by Peter Rutherford)