South Africa’s lone hope in the main singles draw, Kevin Anderson, crashed out in the first round of the annual Wimbledon Championships in London on Monday.
Having recently returned to the ATP Tour circuit after undergoing minor ankle surgery and a battle with injuries, Anderson took control and won the first two sets against Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan.
His opponent turned it around, however, and the SA No 1 lost 6-4 7-6 (13) 4-6 6-7 (2) 3-6.
Anderson was also eliminated in the first round of the top-flight Australian Open and French Open tournaments earlier this season.
His compatriot, Raven Klaasen, will turn out later in the week in the men’s doubles with American partner Rajeev Ram.
The duo, who showed good form by winning the Gerry Weber Open in Halle in the build-up to the tournament, will face Gilles Muller or Luxembourg and former winner Frederik Nielsen of Denmark in the first round.