Dan Cox was left rueing fine margins after a narrow defeat in the opening round of Wimbledon Qualifying on Monday.
Lincoln’s Cox was up against Federico Gaio at Roehampton, an opponent who has already reached three Challenger Tour-level finals this season.
It was the Italian who was able to summon all of his experience in a gruelling contest out on Court 14, edging his way to a 2-6 7-6(2) 7-5 victory to progress to Round 2.
Cox certainly had his chances throughout, holding break points in the second set and serving for the match in the third set.
And afterwards the 32-year-old admitted the manner of the loss was tough to take.
“In the beginning I felt pretty comfortable, but I just let it slip away in the second set,” he said. “I felt that I had my chances and just didn’t convert the break points.
“I think it was 4-3 in the second set. I was up and had a couple of chances to break in that game, and I didn’t. I think that was probably the swinging point for me.
“I felt like I was very close and then it kept slipping away. I got broken at the start of the third set, and I felt that I needed one last big push – and I managed to break back.
“I managed to break him to go 4-3 up, but I’m just disappointed I couldn’t convert in the end and push through, especially having served for the match at 5-4 up in the third. It’s a tough one to take.”
With plenty of events in Britain and Europe across the next few weeks, there will be plenty of opportunities for the Brit to bounce back.
However, he admitted that he was unable to think too far ahead after being beaten in such a close contest.
He added: “Right now I’m not sure what my next events will be, I really don’t know at the moment. It just depends on mentally how I’m feeling.”
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