Jack Draper vowed to come back stronger after seeing his Wimbledon run end in the second round with defeat by 19th seed Alex De Minaur.
Australian De Minaur came from a set down in the battle between the former junior finalists to defeat Draper 5-7 7-6 (0) 6-2 6-3 in three hours and two minutes on Court One.
De Minaur joins British girlfriend Katie Boulter, who was watching courtside after her career-best win over Karolina Pliskova, in the third round while Draper can take huge encouragement from what was a fine contest.
“It was a high-level match,” said Draper. “I thought Alex played incredibly well. Definitely, definitely tough out there. I think I can take a lot of positives. There’s also a lot of things I need to improve and keep working, developing.
“In terms of my tennis, it’s obviously trying to hit my spots on my serve. I think my forehand needs a lot of work still. But I think the main thing is the physicality.
“Grand slam tennis is completely different. This is one of my first experiences. I’m here on merit in the main draw and also playing against a guy who is known for being unbelievably resilient. It’s a really good challenge for me.
“I think I do need these types of lessons to really grow. I think hopefully as I get more experiences like these, it’s going to help me in the future to push on in these types of tournaments.
“Next year I’ll be a different player again because physically I will have improved. Hopefully I will have stayed injury free. Obviously I’ve got a lot to work on. That’s not such a bad thing. It’s just going to take a bit of time.”
The 20-year-old has been attracting attention beyond these shores for his progress this year and he demonstrated why across two tightly-contested sets full of intense, lung-busting rallies before beginning to fade physically.
The first set was split into two by a lengthy delay for the roof, which had been shut when it was dry earlier, to be belatedly closed as heavy showers circled the All England Club.
De Minaur is one of the best athletes and most consistent hitters out there but Draper more than matched him, wowing the excited crowd with the power of his serve and groundstrokes.
He won the rally of the match to take the first set but missed opportunities to break serve in the second and the momentum turned in the tie-break, where he did not win a point.
Draper tried to stay with De Minaur, who will next take on another British player in Liam Broady, in the third and fourth sets but fatigue had set in.
Draper is already ranked in the top 100 and can look forward to playing on the ATP Tour full-time and a US Open debut in August.
“I think I have a bit of time off then I’ll look to go to America and try to start playing on the tour more, make that jump,” said the Londoner.
“I’m pretty sure I’ll get in the US Open. It will just be another opportunity to try and prove myself and see where I’m at. I’ve just got to keep on improving, keep learning. I think I have the mentality to do that. I want to be a top player.”