New York - Andy Murray's first Grand Slam in more than a year ended with a second-round exit at the US Open, where he fell in four sets to Spain's Fernando Verdasco on Wednesday.
Verdasco, seeded 31st, had lost 13 of 14 prior matches with the Scot, who claimed the first of his three Grand Slam titles at the 2012 US Open.
But on another scorching day in New York, Verdasco triumphed 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 to book a third-round meeting with another former champion, third-seeded Argentine Juan Martin del Potro.
"I only beat him in the Australian Open 2009, so the only time I beat him was a Grand Slam, so it was a little bit of motivation to come here today and try to beat him again," Verdasco said.
Murray was playing his first Grand Slam since Wimbledon of last year after battling a hip injury that required surgery in January.
He returned to the major stage with a four-set win over Australian James Duckworth on Monday, but he didn't have enough to withstand 52 winners from Verdasco.
Murray made the Spaniard work to close it out, Verdasco saving five break points in the final game before converting his third match point.
"It was tough of course to close the match but I think with Andy it's always tough - not to close it just to play every point because he's an unbelievable fighter," Verdasco said.
"Even with all the surgery and not 100% physically he's a fighter."
US Open results on Wednesday, the third day of the 2018 tournament at Flushing Meadows (x denotes seeded player):
Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) bt Vasek Pospisil (CAN) 6-3, 6-4, 6-2
Karen Khachanov (RUS x27) bt Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) 7-5, 6-3, 6-3
Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) bt Jack Sock (USA x18) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (7/3)
Guido Pella (ARG) bt Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) 7-5, 6-0, 6-2
Dominic Thiem (AUT x9) bt Steve Johnson (USA) 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 6-1
Taylor Fritz (USA) bt Jason Kubler (AUS) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 - retired
Denis Shapovalov (CAN x28) bt Andreas Seppi (ITA) 6-4, 4-6, 5-7, 7-6 (7/2), 6-4
Kevin Anderson (RSA x5) bt Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 6-2, 6-4, 6-4
Juan Martin del Potro (ARG x3) bt Denis Kudla (USA) 6-3, 6-1, 7-6 (7/4)
Fernando Verdasco (ESP x31) bt Andy Murray (GBR) 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
Borna Coric (CRO x20) bt Roberto Carballes Baena (ESP) 7-6 (7/4), 6-2, 6-3
Daniil Medvedev (RUS) bt Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE x15) 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
John Isner (USA x11) bt Nicolas Jarry (CHI) 6-7 (7/9), 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-4
Dusan Lajovic (SRB) bt Cameron Norrie (GBR) 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
Milos Raonic (CAN x25) bt Gilles Simon (FRA) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4
Stan Wawrinka (SUI) bt Ugo Humbert (FRA) 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 6-3, 7-5
Kaia Kanepi (EST) bt Jil Teichmann (SUI) 6-4, 6-3
Rebecca Peterson (SWE) bt Vania King (USA) 7-5, 6-1
Serena Williams (USA x17) bt Carina Witthoeft (GER) 6-2, 6-2
Venus Williams (USA x16) bt Camila Giorgi (ITA) 6-4, 7-5
Karolina Muchova (CZE) bt Garbine Muguruza (ESP x12) 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
Ashleigh Barty (AUS x18) bt Lucie Safarova (CZE) 7-5, 6-3
Sofia Kenin (USA) bt Maria Sakkari (GRE x32) 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
Karolina Pliskova (CZE x8) bt Ana Bogdan (ROM) 6-2, 6-3
Sloane Stephens (USA x3) bt Anhelina Kalinina (UKR) 4-6, 7-5, 6-2
Victoria Azarenka (BLR) bt Daria Gavrilova (AUS x25) 6-1, 6-2
Barbora Strycova (CZE x23) bt Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) 6-0, 6-1
Elise Mertens (BEL x15) bt Vera Lapko (BLR) 6-2, 6-0
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) bt Julia Goerges (GER x9) 7-6 (12/10), 6-3
Anastasija Sevastova (LAT x19) bt Claire Liu (USA) 6-3, 6-1
Wang Qiang (CHN) bt Irina-Camelia Begu (ROM) 6-3, 6-1
Elina Svitolina (UKR x7) bt Tatjana Maria (GER) 6-2, 6-3