Andy Murray progressed to the second round of the Rome Masters after opponent Juan Martin Del Potro retired with a back injury in the deciding third set.
The Argentinian had just been broken to go 1-0 down when he immediately called for the trainer at the change of ends.
Del Potro was in significant pain and appeared to be close to tears but after five minutes’ treatment he admitted defeat.
The tide had turned for the world number 17 after he had taken the first set 7-5, losing the second 6-4 and then going behind in the third before injury struck.
It was not the best of matches with rain forcing the players off court after just 13 minutes with the score at 1-1.
When they returned Murray was warned for uttering an audible obscenity and in the next the Scot and Del Potro then exchanged words about their respective behaviour.
The tennis was not up to much either with Murray broken three times and his opponent twice as Del Potro forged ahead 7-5 in the first set.
The first six games of the second went with serve before Murray claimed the crucial break.
He was immediately broken back but overcame the Del Potro serve once again and closed out the set 6-4.
A third successive service break put him ahead in the third before injury struck.
Murray will now play Stanislas Wawrinka in the next round.