Dan Cox bemoans hectic schedule for Surbiton loss

Dan Cox admits a relentless schedule took its toll after being knocked out by Frenchman Constant Lestienne at the LTA’s Lexus Surbiton Trophy.

The 32-year-old from Lincoln was beaten 3-6 6-3 7-5 by his experienced rival despite coming out of the blocks firing in the opening set.

Cox played a gruelling three-set match against fellow Brit Arthur Fery yesterday afternoon to qualify for the main draw, while Lestienne was playing his first match in West London.

And the world No.365 believes his opponent had more left in the tank during a nail-biting encounter.

“Obviously he has had a couple of days off after playing at the French, I had a tough match yesterday, so I just think that just had an effect on the last stages of the second set,” said the former world No.206.

“It just takes its toll on your body a little bit, playing on the grass courts.

“You need to get used to using different muscle groups, so I am a little bit disappointed, but he is obviously a great player.

“I want to play against those guys, I probably could have done a few things better today, but it is just sport.

“Shot selection let me down a little bit in the second set, but again,  probably a little bit of fatigue from yesterday, but yeah I am just a little bit disappointed I didn’t quite get over the line today.”

The victory means Lestienne will now face the USA’s Denis Kudla in the round of 16.

Kudla beat Australia’s Christopher O’Connell in the round of 32 to progress to the next stage.

Cox is hoping playing the best can help him cut mistakes out of his game ahead of an exciting season on grass.

He added: “It is especially challenging on grass, one sort of loose game can change the whole match.

“That is sort of part of the grass season, getting used to not having so many slip-ups.

“I had a slip up in the second, and the momentum and the freshness he had meant I felt like I was fighting trying to keep in there.

“Obviously he is a great player, and if you give him any chance, he will take it.

“I haven’t played at Surbiton for a few years, but it is a great place the courts are great and the crowds like to support the local players which is great.”

For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA website

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