Kyle Edmund crashed out of the French Open following a five-set defeat by Fabio Fognini.
The British number one, who needed lengthy treatment on a knee injury, was sent packing in the third round 6-3 4-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 by the Italian 18th seed.
It was a curious match, full of peaks and troughs from both players. Edmund seemed tetchier than usual, appearing distracted by camera clicks from courtside photographers as he went to serve.
Fognini is famed for his fiery temper and did not disappoint, hurling his racket against the back wall after one rally went begging – but that was fairly tame for a man thrown out of the US Open last year for his bad behaviour.
Neither player looked fully fit, either. Edmund took a tumble in the first set which may have caused the knee problem, while Fognini at one stage had to have his ankle heavily strapped.
A stodgy match began with Edmund breaking the Italian’s serve in the first game, only to then have to contend with a lengthy delay when, at break point down, a spectator received medical treatment.
The 16th seed survived that, but then dropped serve twice as clay-court specialist Fognini took the set.
Edmund raced into a 5-1 lead in the second while Fognini’s mood was put to the test when he was called for a foot fault.
But Fognini regained his composure and pulled both breaks back before Edmund called for the trainer. It seemed to do the trick, however, as the 23-year-old immediately broke to clinch the set.
Midway through the third set it was Fognini who summoned the trainer, and Edmund put his dodgy left ankle to the test by moving him all around the court in taking a 2-1 lead.
Yet whether his knee was still bothering Edmund, or fatigue was setting in, he looked sluggish in the fourth allowing Fognini to force a decider.
Fognini was becoming increasingly agitated as the fifth set progressed, either chuntering to himself, swatting imaginary balls away or complaining about the crowd.
Edmund just needed to keep his cool, it seemed. Yet when they reached 5-4, on serve, in Fognini’s favour, the man from Sanremo pounced.
Two waspish forehands brought up 0-30, then Edmund missed a forehand and found himself facing three match points.
He saved the first, but sent a forehand long in the next rally and suddenly Britain’s last hope in the singles draw had tumbled out.
– Press Association