Andy Murray got here up simply brief in a three-hour marathon towards world No 9 Taylor Fritz within the final 16 of the Citi Open.
The 36-year-old, who was runner-up in Washington 17 years in the past, regarded on the point of one other of his occasional assertion wins since his comeback from hip surgical procedure when he had break factors for a 4-2 lead within the deciding set.
However Fritz, the highest seed and American No 1, managed to repel all three and went on to wrap up his fortieth win in 2023, 6-7 (2) 6-3 6-4.
An epic encounter was briefly held up whereas a gaggle of protesters who had thrown large tennis balls onto the courtroom have been escorted from the stand.
Murray had already smashed his racket towards the ground after dropping serve within the first sport, throwing in two double-faults amongst six unforced errors.
The Scot had been a degree away from a 3-0 deficit however improved because the set wore on and broke again for 5-5 as Fritz served for it, saving two set factors earlier than changing his first break level with a drop shot.
Murray dominated the tie-break with Fritz now exhibiting his frustration, and he took the set after 87 minutes with an nearly dismissive forehand winner.
However Fritz locked straight again in to interrupt in the beginning of the second on his strategy to levelling the match.
Fritz survived these break factors at 2-3 within the decider after which a Murray double-fault gifted the 25-year-old three possibilities to interrupt, taking the second when Murray’s backhand drifted lengthy.
In a dramatic ultimate sport, Murray introduced up three break-back factors at 40-0, Fritz survived the lot after which squandered two match factors earlier than changing the third.
Dan Evans had misplaced eight of his final 9 matches earlier than arriving in Washington however the British No 2 made it two wins in two by beating Russia’s Alexander Shevchenko 6-4 6-3.
Evans should play his last-eight match later within the day after rain noticed his and Murray’s matches cancelled on Thursday.