Cameron Norrie rued small margins as he suffered defeat in the quarter-finals at the LTA’s cinch Championships.
Norrie was beaten 6-4 7-6(1) by Sebastian Korda, with the big-serving American dominating the decisive tiebreak to book his place in the last four.
The British No.1 looked down and out after Korda broke early in the second set having eased through the first, but Norrie broke back to force a tiebreak.
But Korda quelled the raucous home crowd and Norrie’s momentum with his relentless service game and strong defence before finally breaking the Briton.
And Norrie admitted it was his inability to take advantage in the big moments that was his ultimate undoing, but backed himself to be ready for a deep run at SW19.
He said: “He served and returned really well today and made it difficult for me to find some rhythm. I think I did well to get myself in the match but pretty disappointed with the way I finished the match.
“I fought really hard to get back into the match and then played a very loose start to the tiebreak and he capitalised on that.
“In that first set I had a lot of chances on his serve at the beginning of the match and I didn’t capitalise.
“I was returning great but a couple of times I missed a couple of second serve returns and missed a couple of rally balls that I wouldn’t usually do.
“I needed to tidy up the errors at the end in the second. It’s those small moments on the grass you have to ride them mentally or the chances can go quickly he did a great job of serving his way out of trouble in those moments.”
Korda will face top seed Carlos Alcaraz in the last four, after the 20-year-old Spaniard came through a tight contest against former champion Grigor Dmitrov.
Alcaraz eased through the first set but was made to work for the second by the Bulgarian, eventually winning 6-4 6-4.
There was also victory for Australian Alex de Minaur, who overcame Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-4 4-6 6-4 in the day’s opening match.
De Minaur looked to have control of the contest after winning the first set and breaking early in the second, only for Mannarino to hit back and set up a deciding set which the seventh seed eventually won.
The seventh seed will face second seed Holger Rune, after the Dane got past Lorenzo Musetti 6-4 7-5 despite being made to work hard for his straight sets victory.
British interests in the men’s doubles also ended, as top seeds Wesley Koolhof and Liverpool’s Neal Skupski were beaten 6-3 7-6(4) by Taylor Fritz and Jiri Lehecka.
Fritz and Lehecka edged a close-fought game, in part thanks to their powerful serve that saw them register 11 aces compared to just one from their opponents.
The big serving duo will face either Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Santiago Gonzalez or second seeds Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek in the final.
But there were better fortunes in the men’s wheelchair singles, as Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett both eased through their quarter-final matches to set up a mouth-watering meeting between the pair.
The duo will unite forces in the men’s doubles on Saturday before pitting themselves against each other for the 40th time in the singles semi-final.
For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA website