U.S. Open champion Andy Murray and previously surging Argentine star Juan Martin del Potro were third-round upset victims Thursday at the $3.15 million BNP Paribas Masters, the final ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament of the year.
The third-seeded Murray lost a match point before succumbing to 6-foot-8 Pole Jerzy Janowicz 5-7, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 at Bercy's Palais Omnisports. The impressive qualifier Janowicz launched 22 aces past Murray, who fell in 2 hours, 25 minutes on Day 4.
The Olympic gold medalist and Wimbledon runner-up Murray suffered a loss for a third time in the last month after holding a match point.
Meanwhile, wild card and veteran French crowd favorite Michael Llodra upended the seventh-seeded del Potro 6-4, 6-3 in only 69 minutes. A weary del Potro was fresh off his back-to-back titles in Vienna and Basel. He stunned Roger Federer in the final at the Swiss Indoors event in Federer's native Basel.
Del Potro, like Murray, will be part of next week's elite eight-player field at the ATP World Tour Finals in London.
Fifth-seeded Czech slugger Tomas Berdych avoided an upset by coming from behind to beat tall South African Kevin Anderson, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4. Anderson unleashed 15 aces in a losing effort.
The former Wimbledon runner-up Berdych was the Paris Masters champ back in 2005.
Also, Frenchman Gilles Simon reached the quarterfinals via walkover when 15th-seeded Japanese Kei Nishikori pulled out of the event due to an ankle injury. Simon should have his hands full with Berdych on Friday.
The newest Paris Masters champ will pocket $620,000.