Katie Boulter’s winning streak ended with a loss to China’s Zhu Lin in the first round of the Rothesay Classic in Birmingham.
Boulter celebrated the best win of her career in Nottingham on Sunday when she won her first WTA Tour title and set a new high of 77th.
That cemented her position as Britain’s number one in the absence of the injured Emma Raducanu, but Boulter was unable to cement that position at Egbaston Priory, where she reached the quarter-finals last year.
The 26-year-old said: “It was obviously a tough game today. I knew that coming here would put me on the back burner physically. It’s a place I actually want to achieve because it means I’m testing myself and trying hard after playing a lot of games.
“I didn’t want to miss a week and I’m proud of myself for going out there and giving absolutely everything I had.
“Unfortunately I was on the losing side today but I’m picking myself up and we’re getting ready for the next few events.”
Boulter had her chances against Zhu, who is ranked 39th, but failed to capitalize on them in a 7-5 7-5 loss.
Boulter started well and took a 3-1 lead, but Zhu reacted strongly and grabbed her second set point in the 12th game.
The second set was a rollercoaster ride with seven breaks of serve and 17 break points.
However, Boulter was only able to convert three of her ten chances and – after saving two match points when the score was 4-5 – sent a long backhand on the third try two games later.
The quick turnaround meant Boulter couldn’t celebrate her big win. The British number one said with a smile: “I wish.
“I had a team dinner. During dinner I was actually treated. It was perfectly normal. I am sure that after all these weeks I will take some time and have a nice team dinner again.”
Because of the rain, the game didn’t start until 13:30 and second seeded Jelena Ostapenko struggled to a three-set win over Czech teenager Linda Noskova in the opening match.