Varvara Lepchenko, one of six Americans due at the 2015 Aegon International, slipped up on grass to tumble out of the Nottingham Open in England.
The #3 seed of an fairly low-key draw was ousted in her match since the 2015 French Open in three sets by gutsy Romanian Monica Niculescu 4-6 6-3 6-1.
The world #37 had to fight from the baseline for every point and broke Niculescu in the third game only to be immediately broken back.
The initial six games swung one way then another with only two out of the 10 break points snatched.
With both players relieved to be level and pushing themselves to hold their service game, the next two games were both served out without a point dropped.
Then Lepchenko went for the kill in the ninth game and broke her opponent, then served out the set to take the lead after an exciting 58 minutes.
The second set lacked the same high quality, with shorter rallies and neither player impressive at the net. Five losses of serve games saw Niculescu level matters with an abrupt 38-minute set.
American Lepchenko looked lost and lacked the fire she had shown in the first set, dropping all four service games but at the death managed to save two match points on her serve before suffering a shock defeat to the world #61 who should make further progress if she maintains this form.