British number two Kyle Edmund suffers shock first round loss to World No 242 in the first round of the Estoril Open

Edmund started the claycourt season strongly but slipped to a surprising  6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (2) defeat to Joao Domingues, who had never before won a match on the ATP Tour

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The Independent Online

British number two Kyle Edmund suffered a shock defeat in the first round of the Estoril Open on Monday, losing to a player ranked 201 places below him at 242 in the world.

Edmund, seeded seventh for the ATP World Tour 250 tournament, was expected to enjoy a long stay in Portugal given his strong start to the claycourt season, but the Brit was stunned by the qualifier Joao Domingues.

Edmund led 5-2 in the final set but let his lead slip, falling to a disappointing 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (2) defeat.

Edmund's start to the claycourt season had been impressive (Getty)

Domingues had never before won a match on the ATP Tour but started confidently and broke Edmund in his second service game to take the first set 6-4.

But Edmund appeared to rally. He took his first break-point opportunity in the second set before leveling the score, and also raced into a 5-2 lead in the decisive third set despite losing his first service game to trail 2-0.

The 22-year-old’s serve then fell to pieces as the twice failed to serve out for the match – despite having a match point in both. Domingues took the game to a tie-breaker which he then won comfortably, winning the final three points of the match to win the final set 7-6 (2).

The British number two's serve collapsed in the pivotal third set (Getty)

Domingues will now play the South African Kevin Anderson for a place in the quarter-finals.

Defeat will come as a bitter disappointment to Edmund, who counts clay as his preferred surface and has been in good form of late.

He beat compatriot Dan Evans in the first round of the Monte Carlo Masters and impressively took eventual champion Rafael Nadal to three sets.

While at the Barcelona Open last week he beat Jeremy Chardy in straight-sets before losing to eventual finalist Dominic Thiem, who knocked out Andy Murray in the semi-finals.

Bedene's fine form continued in Istanbul (Getty)

There was however better news for British number four Aljaz Bedene, who beat Marton Fucsovic to qualify for the second round of the Istanbul Open.

Bedene reached the final of the Hungarian Open last week, which saw him improve his world ranking to 58, and continued his good form against Fucsovic.

He ground out a 7-6 (7/3) 4-6 6-4 victory over the Hungarian qualifier and will now take on the top seed Milos Raonic in the second round, who has played only one match since February because of injury.