Dan Evans missed out on a maiden ATP Tour title after suffering an agonising defeat to Radu Albot in the final of the Delray Beach Open.
Evans, a qualifier in this tournament, produced one of the best wins of his career against home favourite John Isner in the semi-finals in Florida on Saturday.
The world No 148, who returned to tennis last April following a 12-month drug ban, appeared to be carrying on where he left off when taking the first set in style.
But Albot fought back and, after a rain delay, Evans wasted three match points to leave his Moldovan opponent to secure a 3-6 6-3 7-6 victory after winning a thrilling tie-break 9-7.
Former British number two Evans was broken early by Albot, who moved 2-1 ahead, but he then won four games in a row before serving out the set.
However, Albot bounced back quickly to take the second set in comfortable fashion.
Evans showed character to come from 0-40 down and hold his serve in the first game of the third set and, having slipped a couple of times on court, play was suspended due to the wet weather with Albot 2-1 up.
The break in play rejuvenated Evans but, despite overturning a 4-2 deficit to lead 6-5, he could not get over the line as he wasted match points and lost the tie-break.