Marcus Willis prevailed against Edward Corrie in the battle of the British wild cards to move into the second round of the Aegon Nottingham Challenge.
Willis started strong before showing stubborn determination and patience to beat Corrie 6-1 3-6 6-4 at the Nottingham Tennis Centre on Monday.
The 23-year-old saved 11 break points before he finally conceded one on the way to losing the second set, serving himself out of danger nine times with aces.
"I know Ed very well and he knows me very well," said Willis.
"Every match we play goes to three sets, it is a tactical battle and you have to serve well - at the start that is what I did.
"In the second set he was all over me and I managed to save those 11 break points before he eventually got the break.
"In the third, I served much more cleverly. I had him in some trouble on one of his serves and just thought that if I stayed with him then I could get him in the end.
"It was a very tough match and I'm delighted I got through it."
Willis goes on to meet seventh seed Marius Copil of Romania after he got the better of Sergei Bubka Jr 6-3 7-6(3).
Elsewhere in the men's singles draw, Brit Daniel Smethurst went down to Ante Pavic 3-6 7-6(7) 6-3.
Nottingham-based Smethurst had one match-point in the tie-break but failed to convert, with Pavic eventually closing out the match after a rain delay.
Britons David Rice, Kyle Edmund and Oliver Golding get their Aegon Challenge campaigns underway on Tuesday.
Edmund is up against top seed Go Soeda, while fellow wild card Golding takes on America's Rhyne Williams and Rice meets Dimitar Kutrovsky who went out at the quarter-final stage of the Aegon Trophy at the same venue on Saturday.
Meanwhile, in the women's singles event Samantha Murray starts against Lesia Tsurenko of the Ukraine, while 17-year-old British wild card Isabelle Wallace meets World No. 159 Nicole Gibbs.
Britain's top junior Katie Boulter is on court with Mayo Hibi of Japan in the first round of doubles action on Tuesday before starting her singles campaign a day later.
Jade Windley, another of the British wild cards, faces a tough opening test against sixth seed Magda Linette of Poland on Wednesday.
Entry to the Aegon Nottingham Challenge is free for all spectators.
For more information, including orders of play and a full list of results for the Nottingham Festival of Tennis, visit www.nottinghamfestivaloftennis.com