British number three Dan Evans lost 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-3 against three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka in their first-round match at Indian Wells.
Evans, 28, back inside the world’s top 100 after a drugs ban, saved three set points before taking the opening set.
World number 40 Wawrinka levelled and broke in the eighth game of the decider to win in two hours eight minutes.
Earlier, British women’s number one Johanna Konta beat Hsieh Su-Wei of Taiwan 6-0 6-2 to reach round three.
World number 45 Konta won the first eight games and saved three break points when serving at 3-2 in the second.
Her 33-year-old opponent, ranked 27, spurned 12 break-point opportunities in total.
There were four successive breaks in the first set between Evans and Wawrinka before the Briton took command of the tie-break and raced 6-1 ahead.
In blustery Californian conditions, 2017 finalist Wawrinka lost only four points on his serve in taking the second in only 31 minutes, firing 16 winners.
Evans, who required a medical time-out for treatment on his toe before the deciding set, saw three break point chances elude him in the fifth game and three more in the seventh.
It was the pair’s first meeting since an epic 2016 US Open third-round match which Wawrinka won in five sets.
Evans, then ranked 64th, failed to take a match point in a four-hour thriller which Wawrinka edged on his way to eventually winning the title at Flushing Meadows.
The fortunes of both players have suffered since that memorable night – Wawrinka suffering a serious knee injury – but they have shown signs of returning to their best form this year.
Wawrinka, who finished runner-up at Indian Wells two years ago, is up to 40th in the rankings and reached the Rotterdam final in February.
Evans, meanwhile, has already won 19 matches this year and agonisingly missed out his first ATP title at the Delray Beach Open last month after producing a double fault on match point.
The British Davis Cup player’s form has enabled him to move back into the world’s top 100 last week – less than a year after returning from his suspension.