BRITISH number three Kyle Edmund spurned the chance to reach the second round of tennis' BNP Paribas Open after losing a war of attrition with Guido Pella in three sets.
The 21-year-old former Pocklington schoolboy had showed a wealth of grit and determination to leave himself serving for the match in the decisive set, but he faltered and was broken twice as the Argentinian reeled off four games in a row to earn a 6-7 (7/3) 6-4 7-5 victory in an epic two-and-a-half-hour battle in Indian Wells.
The tone for the match was set from the opening set, which lasted exactly 60 minutes and saw East Yorkshire ace Edmund triumph in a tie-break after both players had exchanged a break of serve.
Pella, a clay-court specialist ranked 40 in the world, showed his mettle, though, and broke Edmund in the ninth game before holding serve to claim the set and level things up.
Edmund regrouped, though, and after he got the better of Pella's serve to lead 5-3 in the decider, he was then three points away from a place in the second round.
But the Yorkshireman, who was ruled out of last week's Davis Cup win over Japan with a back injury, capitulated and won only four points in the next four games as Pella turned it around to claim a victory from the jaws of defeat.