South African tennis ace Lloyd Harris bowed out of Portugal's Estoril Open on Tuesday following a first round defeat to Italian Marco Cecchinato.
Cecchinato, the world No 94, won in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4, against the 53rd-ranked Harris.
It was Harris' first ATP match of the year on clay, having missed the Monte Carlo and Barcelona events due to a wrist injury.
But it was always going to be a tough match against Cecchinato, who is an esteemed clay court player. The Italian is best known for reaching the French Open semi-finals in 2018 when he upset Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals.
Harris had made headlines earlier in the year when he reached the final of the Dubai Championships and he also broke into the world's top 50 after a maiden win at Masters 1000 level at the Miami Open.
The 24-year-old Capetonian will now shift his focus to the ATP events in Madrid, Rome and Lyon before the French Open starts on 24 May.
Meanwhile, South Africa's other singles contestant, Kevin Anderson, is through to the second round after a 4-6, 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/4) win over American Frances Tiafoe on Monday.
Anderson will face Roberto Carballes Baena in the second round on Tuesday. The Spaniard got into the main draw as a lucky lower from qualifying after Japan's Kei Nishikori withdrew with a right abductor injury.
In the doubles, South Africa's Raven Klaasen and his Kiwi-Japanese partner Ben McLachlan are the second seeds. They will open their account against Italy's Simone Bolelli and Argentina's Maximo Gonzalez on Wednesday.