Dudi Sela suffered his sixth straight first-round exit on the AT P Tour on Monday, losing 0-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 to James Duckworth of Australia in the opening round in Queens, London.
The 29-year-old Israeli, ranked No. 107 in the world, seemed to be cruising to his first tour win since February after taking the first set in just 20 minutes.
He squandered all five of his break point opportunities in the second set, but was still well placed to reach the second round after racing into a 4-1 lead in the tiebreak. However, he would drop the next five points and ultimately lost the set and never recovered after being broken for the one and only time in the match in the fifth game of the decisive set.
Duckworth (167) will next face No. 2 seed Tomas Berdych, who had a first-round bye.
Despite his recent drop, Sela will be in the main draw of Wimbledon in two weeks as he ranked 84th in the world at the cut-off date last month.
He will be Israel’s only male singles player at the All England Club, with Amir Weintraub to miss qualifiers with a groin injury.
Weintraub could be out for over a month, but should be fit in time for Israel’s Davis Cup World Group playoff tie against Argentina in September.
Elsewhere, Julia Glushko leapfrogged Shahar Pe’er to become Israel’s No. 1 women’s player on Monday, climbing 16 places to No. 82 in the world after reaching the third round at Roland Garros.
Pe’er, who played in the Wimbledon warm-up event in Birmingham late Monday, rose two places to No. 86 despite her first-round exit in Paris.