Andy Murray returned to the ATP Tour with a defeat at the Fever-Tree Championships, showing no signs of ill health as he went down fighting 2-6 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 to Nick Kyrgios.
The former world number one had been out for almost a year with a hip injury, last playing at Wimbledon, yet an expectant crowd saw a surprisingly polished performance at Queen's Club as he made his comeback.
Although Murray's display was not enough to progress to the second round of the tournament, it certainly offered cause for optimism after a wretched 12 months - particularly in the opening set.
Frustration set in by the end of an encounter that lasted over two-and-a-half hours but, with Wimbledon just around the corner again, the three-time grand slam winner's confidence will undoubtedly be boosted.
Murray had spoken beforehand of his "very low" expectations and yet, after a testing start, the Briton broke through the first time he was able to put real pressure on Kyrgios' serve, profiting from consecutive double faults.
And as Murray kicked on, Kyrgios seemed to fade, the first set ended by another double fault and another break.
The start of the second was error-strewn, Murray handing Kyrgios a break, and levelling only to fall behind again, as a series of shots were sent long across court.
But Murray took his time and again cancelled out his opponent's advantage to break for the second time in the set and make it 4-4 on the way to forcing a tie-break.
He battled in the breaker, too, yet one superb drive down the line from Kyrgios turned the tide in the Australian's favour as he won the final three points to claim it 7-4 and level the match.
Having been pegged back, the third was a battle for Murray as he fought for his holds and, serving to stay in the match at 6-5 down, there was a fist-pump when Kyrgios found the net.
It was only a temporary reprieve, as the 21st-ranked Kyrgios clinched victory with his third match point, but this was still a wholly positive outing for a fit-again Murray.
13. November 2018
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12. November 2018
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|WATCH: Rooney looking sharp in England training return|
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|Sturridge denies ever gambling on football following FA charge|
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|Mendy suffers knee injury, leaves France squad with Lacazette|
|Zverev beats Cilic in error-strewn London battle|
|Rafinha replaces injured Casemiro in Brazil squad|
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|Mancini keen to work with ´incredibly gifted´ Tonali|
|Italian manager of the year Allegri targets long Juve stay|
|Injured Lee departs as Wales prepare squad for Tonga|
|Conte content to wait until June for coaching return|
|Etzebeth set to return, Whiteley a doubt for Scotland Test|
|In-form Verstappen does not need distractions from 2019 challenge|
|FA asks Guardiola to explain Manchester derby referee comments|
|LaLiga MVP Messi hopes the division stays wide open|
|Murray and Henshaw out of All Blacks Test|
|Injured Man Utd duo Pogba and Martial drop out of France squad|
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|Very troubling times - LeBron James alarmed by gun violence|
|Bayern confirm Ribery ´altercation´ with reporter|
|Madrid hit by injuries to Nacho and Casemiro|
|Record-breaking Mushfiqur torments Zimbabwe|
|Spartak Moscow appoint Oleg Kononov|
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|Former England call-up Graham replaces Thomson in Scotland squad|
|Slater and Thurston among Queensland greats to join Maroons staff|
|Rapana set for six months out after shoulder surgery|
|Alves determined to play in the Premier League|
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|Monaco´s plight not Henry´s fault - Silva|
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|Bucks beat Nuggets to finish gruelling schedule stretch|
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|Browns´ Chubb relishes record-breaking performance: It definitely is very special|
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|Neymar wants more from perfect PSG|
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|WATCH: Highlights of thrilling Boca-River Copa Libertadores final|
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11. November 2018
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