London – Andy Murray's reign as Queen's Club champion ended in stunning fashion as Czech veteran Radek Stepanek clinched a shock 7-6 (12/10), 6-2 win over the world number five.
Murray's tame third round exit at the hands of the unheralded world number 42 is a major blow to his grass-court preparations less than two weeks before the start of Wimbledon, where he will defend the title he won so memorably last year.
It was also the 27-year-old's first loss since his surprise decision to hire Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo as his new coach last Sunday.
Since losing to Roger Federer in the 2012 Wimbledon final, Murray had been unstoppable on grass, but his 19-match winning run, which brought him Olympic gold, a first Wimbledon crown and a third Queen's title, came to a shattering halt in most unexpected style in the west London sunshine. – Sapa-AFP