Portadown teenager David Liggett came close to causing an upset in his first round singles match at the Keys Finance Ulster Championship at the Boat Club last night.
The 18-year-old qualifier took seventh seed Danish veteran Hans Henrick Enoksen to three sets and went down 4-6 7-6 6-3 in a match lasting two-and-a-half hours.
Liggett was 3-0 up in the second set tie break but was delighted with his performance, although naturally disappointed.
"I have only myself to blame after taking the first set and leading in the tie break but hopefully the experience will stand to me in the future," he said.
Meanwhile, top seed Przemek Stec was a man in a hurry as he opened his title bid with a whirlwind success over qualifier Michael Blease.
The Polish-born Windsor player took under 40 minutes to sweep past the CIYMS player on a 6-0 6-3 scoreline.
Stec, who is attempting to lift the prestigious trophy for the fourth time, will now meet eighth seed Donaghadee player Stephen McCausland in the quarter-finals.
McCausland overcame Ballynahinch teen Peter Corrie 6-3 6-2 but paid tribute to his opponent who gave him a minor scare.
The 14-year-old Hilden player, competing in the showpiece for the first time, had an early break of serve to lead 3-1 but McCausland responded to reel off the next five games in a row before wrapping up the match.
"Peter surprised me with his ability to get the ball back and there were quite a few long rallies so all credit to him," said McCausland.
"It can be difficult playing guys you haven't played before and so it proved against Peter and it will certainly be the same against Przemek."
Men's singles championship first round: Stephen McCausland bt Peter Corrie 6-3, 6-2; Karl Donaldson bt David Weir 6-3, 6-4; Tony Davison bt Paul Calvert 7-5, 6-1; Aaron Stubbs bt Jimmy Wilson 6-1, 6-2; Przemek Stec bt Michael Blease 6-0, 6-3; Matthew McClurg bt Ross McCarey 6-2, 6-2, Alex Watt bt Matthew McGann 6-2, 6-2; Hans Henrik Enoksen bt David Liggett 4-6, 7-6, 6-3.
Men's singles B: Lawrence McMahon bt James Spencer 6-2, 6-0; Stephen Johnston bt Josh Chambers 6-4, 6-1; Paul McCrum bt Michael Anderson 6-3, 7-5; Stephen McDowell bt Jack Hudson 6-2, 6-2; Matthew McMullan bt Clive Clive Funston 6-4, 6-4; David Frazer bt Samuel Knox 6-1, 6-2.
Men's singles C: Mark Wilson bt Edwin Johnston 6-2, 6-3; Russell Proctor bt Andrew Greene 6-0, 6-1; Jonathan Quinn bt Mark Sweeney 6-4, 6-2; Stephen Strickland bt Prashant Hemady 6-4, 6-4.
Men's championship doubles: Alex Watt & Gordon Watt bt Michael Blease & Sumeet Kapur 6-2, 6-1
Men's doubles B: Greg O'Rawe & Max Thompson bt Michael Anderson & Edwin Johnston 6-4, 6-1
Ladies singles B: Lauren Stead bt Zara Morgan 6-0, 6-1
Ladies doubles B: Ailbhe Atkinson & Betsy Campione bt Geraldine Fredlander & Maggie McKenna 6-4, 6-3.
Mixed doubles B: Justin Gilmore and Lisa Gilmore bt Colin McGuigan & Joanne Corrigan 6-1, 6-0