Disappointment for Muirhead and Scotland as they fall to Sweden defeat
Eve Muirhead conceded her team had fallen below their usual high standards against Sweden but vowed to bounce back at the 2017 Women's World Curling Championships.
Going into Monday's evening's eighth session of round-robin play in Beijing, both Sweden and Scotland were in shared third place in the table, each on three wins and one loss.
But it was Sweden who gained ground on their opponents in the race for the play-offs with a comfortable 7-3 win.
"They were just better than us there. We just weren't getting enough stones in the perfect spots and that costs you in the World Championship," said Muirhead.
"We just weren't as good as them. It was disappointing because I guess it's all these games that we need to win to get a bit of momentum going.
"To drop one like that is not ideal but it's a long week. We're just not into a flow yet and hopefully that's still to come.
"There's no doubt we've got it in our team to play well and beat teams like Sweden, but that performance just was not good enough. They were just better than us today."
Sweden opened the scoring with a single shot in the first end and then, after the Scots blanked the second, the Swedes doubled their lead with a single steal in the third.
Scotland finally got on the scoreboard with a single in the fourth but they trailed 4-1 at the break before a gentle tap-back by Muirhead reduced the score to 4-3 in the sixth end.
But that was as good as it got for the Scots, as Sweden took two in the eighth and another steal in the ninth – at which point Scotland conceded.
Scotland now share fourth place with the Czech Republic and face Korea and leaders Canada in Tuesday's games.
Sweden meanwhile move into joint second place alongside Switzerland, who lost to unbeaten table-toppers Canada 6-8 in the same session. USA beat Italy 9-4 while Germany overcame hosts China 10-7 after an extra end.