Johannesburg - It has not been a promising start for South Africans at Wimbledon as the prestigious tennis tournament referred to as "The Championships" got into its stride on Saturday.
After gallant progress into the final round of the 128-man qualifying segment, South African Davis Cup player Izak van der Merwe fought a grim battle against Estonia's Jurgen Zopp before going down 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 in two hours 35 minutes.
Following the demise from the singles of Van der Merwe, 32nd-seeded Kevin Anderson, South Africa's main and only hope left in the event, received an uneasy first round draw against Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov - who beat him in the recent Queen's warm-up tournament.
Should Anderson overcome the talented Bulgarian, he is likely to face another tricky match against charismatic Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis in the second round.
Earlier in the opening qualifying rounds, Van der Merwe gained impressive, straight-set victories over 29th-seeded Augustin Geness of France and Damir Dzumhuv.
Fellow South African Davis Cup player, Rik de Voest, who generally does well at Wimbledon, went out in the opening qualifying round, losing 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 to Belgium's Maxime Authom.
The women's singles draw paired top South African Chani Scheepers against Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan, with the possibility of a second round game against 19th-seeded Lucie Safarova if she wins.