Britain's Jamie Delgado secured his biggest pay-day of the year yesterday and then spoke of his terror at being caught up in the recent uprising in Uzbekistan.
Delgado defeated France's Gael Monfils in the first round of the Stella Artois Championship to join Greg Rusedski and Andrew Murray in the second round while British No 1 Tim Henman, given a first-round bye as third seed, had a hard-fought three-set victory over American Robby Ginepri.
Delgado is guaranteed at least £3,910 in prize-money, only £300 less than he has earnt this season.
The British No 5 has been playing mainly on the Challenger circuit and relived the moment he and several other British players needed an armed escort away from a low-key tournament in Andijan last month.
Up to 200 people were reported to have been killed and many others injured after security forces fired into crowds protesting against the authoritarian regime of President Islam Karimov in Uzbekistan.
The world No 205 said: "I heard gunshots on the Thursday night and when we got to the tennis club on Friday it was in a bit of a panic. It was pretty scary at times.
"We slept on sofas at the club on Friday night until the British Embassy came and picked us up the next morning and drove us to Tashkent.
"On Friday night I was pretty nervous. People were shooting aimlessly from what we understood. We were guarded but I would have liked more.
"It's a rough place as it is but when that starts happening, it's like, 'What am I doing here?' I'd love to do well in tennis but I don't want to sacrifice my life, literally, to do so."
Delgado is playing at Queen's Club, thanks to a wild card secured on the toss of a coin.
He said: "There were four of us to play-off for a wild card because the Lawn Tennis Association could not decide who to give it to. I won my first match and was supposed to play Arvind Parmar in the final but it rained so we ended up tossing a coin for it and I won." Monfils ended last year as the world's top junior, winning three of the four Grand Slam titles, including beating Britain's Miles Kasiri at Wimbledon.
But Delgado was in command from the outset on court one and eased to a 6-2, 6-4 victory to book a last-32 clash with another French teenager, Richard Gasquet.
Henman had beaten Ginepri 6-1, 6-2 at Queen's in 2002 but was far from his best in yesterday's 7-6, 4-6, 6-1 victory.
The 30- year- old from Oxford raced into a 4-2 lead in the opening set but was quickly broken back and found himself in deep trouble in the tie-break.
Ginepri forged a 5-3 lead but then missed a trio of easy forehands to let the No 3 seed off the hook, Henman taking the last four points in a row.
Henman squandered two break points early in the second set and Ginepri took full advantage.
An errant Henman volley gave the world No 73 the vital break and he served out with his second ace of the match to force a nervy decider.
Henman finally wrestled control in the decider, however, twice breaking Ginepri's serve to storm into a 5-0 lead before serving out to seal victory in the seventh game.
Top seed and three-time champion Lleyton Hewitt was stretched to the limit before beating Xavier Malisse.
Playing his first singles match since March following injuries, the Australian lost the first set in a tie-break but won 6-7, 7-5, 7-5 in two hours 37 minutes.
He is scheduled to meet Henman in the semi-finals, a player he has beaten in all eight of their meetings, including two finals here.
He said: "It's hard to emulate match conditions in practice no matter how hard you try. I knew it was going to be a tough match going into it. Xavier's a lot better player than his ranking suggests when his mind's on the job.
"Today is a huge bonus. I played for two and a half hours, played a lot of tight points out there in big situations and came through and get another match. Wimbledon's different, regardless of how well I go here."
Henman arrived here last year having just reached the semi-finals of the French Open. This year he is much fresher after losing in the second round at Roland Garros.
"There is no comparison," he added. "I was disappointed to lose in Paris but on the flip side it gave me a great opportunity to practice and do some work with Paul Annacone and I'd like to think that will benefit me this week and hopefully a couple of weeks' time."