World No 1 Andy Murray went down 7-6 (4), 6-4 to David Goffin in the semi-finals of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi on Friday (Dec 30) for his first defeat to the rising Belgian. The Brit will next play Milos Raonic in the third-place playoff.
The 29-year-old Murray had beaten Goffin in all five of their previous meetings, including the decisive rubber in last year's Davis Cup final, and appeared frustrated at the defeat although there are no ATP points available in this tournament.
Murray, who became the first Briton to achieve the No 1 ranking, had received a bye into the semi-finals, but Goffin pulled off a surprise. The Belgian won a close tie-break to clinch the opening set, and won the last four games straight in the second set to seal the match. Murray,
After Abu Dhabi, Murray will open the new season at the Qatar Open in Doha before heading to Australia for the season-opening Grand Slam. Murray has never won the Australian Open despite making it to the final on five occasions since 2010.