Britain's Heather Watson crashed out of Wimbledon at the first hurdle, as she was beaten 6-3, 0-6, 10-12 by Annika Beck of Germany in the First round at SW19.
Watson battled back from 1-4 down in the deciding set but finally fell in the twenty-second game of a titanic final set 10-12, on Court 12.
Resuming overnight a break down in the decider, Watson desperately needed to buck the losing streak run of seven games in a row if the British women's number two was to get back her form of the first set.
Before the rain came on Wednesday, Beck sustained a nasty looking injury of Watson was hoping to expose.
However there was no sign of it from the German out on Court 12. Beck held her serve to add an eighth game in a row. As the Brit sat four games from a first-round exit, something needed to change. Alas, Watson was broken again, 0-3 down.
Watson stops the rot
With just 12 places between the two in the rankings, Watson knew there would still be chances. She finally stopped the rot and pulled closer at 1-3, before losing all the momentum to drop her serve again. There were serious issues with the Watson psyche.
It was almost the point of no return for the 24 year-old. Another break back however again swung the momentum back across the net. A rare service hold for the Brit, coupled with another third-set break and suddenly it was all square. The match was for the taking.
Briton felled in titanic finale
It was very much a case of who could hold not just their serve, but nerve also. The German had visibly tightened as Watson prowled the base line.
A fourth consecutive game from the Briton forced Beck to serve to save the contest, but the ebb and flow of the match saw a leveller to 5-5. At 0-30 on the Watson serve, trouble was averted once more. With no breaker in the decider, the outcome was still very much in the air.
With the match into the third hour, it was very much evolving into a battle of stamina and will. Watson however was still wracked by errors and at 6-6, the inconsistency finally told. Beck broke but as was the case in a drama-laden final set, Watson broke back to love.
Still the set rolled on. Games were exchanged back and forth to 9-9. At 10-9, the Brit nosed ahead and at 0-40 on the German's serve looked home. But Beck dug deep and saved three match points to reach 10-10. In true see-saw form, Beck then broke for 10-11 and served for the match once more.
Beck seized her moment. The German had been reinvigorated after the trifecta of match-saving points and pounced to finish off the courageous Watson and creep over the line, as the disconsolate Brit raced off court in a flash.
Beck will now play Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus on Friday, who knocked out 31st seed Kristina Mladenovic of France.