Andy Murray beaten by Tomas Berdych at Madrid Open
Andy Murray was beaten in straight sets by Czech Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals of the Madrid Open.
After a three-hour win over Gilles Simon on Thursday, he lost the first set to Berdych on a tie-break before going down 7-6 (7-3) 6-4.
"Tomas is a very good clay court player and it was a close match - I had my chances," said Murray.
Rafael Nadal reached the last four with a three-set win over fellow Spaniard David Ferrer.
Nadal next faces another Spaniard, Pablo Andujar, who beat Japan's Kei Nishikori, while Berdych will meet Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka, who squandered three match points in the second set before finally overcoming seventh seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-2 6-7 (7-9) 6-4.
World number three Murray, bidding for his first title on clay, was the highest seed left in the tournament.
Murray had been fortunate to avoid being seeded in the same half of the draw as Nadal, the seven-time French Open winner who has dropped to five in the world rankings as a result of a seven-month injury lay-off.
And, with Novak Djokovic falling in the second round and Roger Federer losing to Nishikori on Thursday, Murray looked to at least have the chance of reaching a first Tour clay-court final.
However, the exertions of his third-round win over Simon looked to have taken their toll on the Scot and he was unable to pull off another comeback victory.
"I think I'm playing OK. Some things I would like to do better, but I did play very well in practice in the build-up to this tournament," said Murray, who will overtake Federer to become world number two when the rankings are updated on Monday.
"I played a lot of sets with a lot of tough players and I played very well."
Murray took his second break point of the match to lead 4-3 in the first set, but was immediately broken back. And Berdych's early point against serve in the tie-break gave him a lead he was not to surrender.
The pair traded further breaks early in the second set, but, when Berdych broke Murray in the fifth game to love - in a run of 11 unanswered points - it proved decisive.
Earlier, Nadal came from a set and a break down to beat fourth seed Ferrer 4-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-0.