British No1 Johanna Konta rued a missed opportunity after she failed to land her first tournament on home soil at the Aegon Open in Nottingham on Sunday.
She surrendered a one-set advantage to Donna Vekic, losing 2-6, 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 to the 20-year-old Croatian, who is ranked 62 places below world No8 Konta.
Victory would have ensured a perfect start to Konta’s grass-court season, a week before she begins her Wimbledon campaign, yet the Sydney-born star found a silver lining.
“All credit to Donna. She was continuously able to raise her level all throughout that match. I was not able to stay with her. Full credit to her for playing incredibly well,” said Konta.
“But I’m very happy that I got to play five great matches on the grass. For Donna and I, heading into Wimbledon, we just want to play on the surface as much as possible.”
Jamie Murray and doubles partner Bruno Soares sealed a pre-Wimbledon boost as they won their second title of the season.
The Briton and his Brazilian playing partner beat Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic 6-7, 7-5, 10-5 in the final of the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart.
Two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray is set to begin his grass court season on Tuesday when he meets fellow Briton Aljaz Bedene in the first round of the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club.