Tim Henman turned the red dust blue when he was warned for an audible obscenity as he teetered on the edge of oblivion at the French Open.
At the end of the chilliest of rain-delayed days Henman was trailing 6-3, 6-2 to bighitting Dmitry Tursunov when the match was called off for the night at a shade past 9pm local time in the Roland Garros gloom.
Henman will have to come back today but he will have to play much better to extend his stay in Paris against an opponent he has lost to twice in the last three Grand Slams.
No wonder he let out his frustration, however, with a huge scream during the second set.
Henman detests slow conditions, dislikes the bigger ball they are using here this year and cannot seem to beat Tursunov.
The last thing he needed was a rain-soaked day and an opponent who blasts tennis missiles off both wings.
'Come on Tim, we're all behind you,' a woman shouted meekly from the crowd. In truth it was as meek as Henman's game.
The Briton, who has plunged to 71 in the world rankings, had spent a frustrating day which saw three lengthy rain delays amid autumnal temperatures before he even emerged on Court Two.
Then, with the local clock racing past 8pm, he was given the task of beating his Russian nemesis.
It was a cold, thankless task, especially when he surrendered his serve in the second game of the match.
No rhythm, no timing, precious little enthusiasm for the task ahead even if he had shown signs of returning to something like his real form in the first-round victory over Denmark's Kenneth Carlsen.
Tursunov is a man with big groundstrokes who tends to go for them on very shot. He either hits or he misses. In the first set he mostly hit, leaving Henman scrambling on the red dust.
Henman began the second set as slowly as the first, losing his serve in the first game.
But the frustration began to stir his competitive juices and his ire when he was warned by the umpire for that obscenity, which was so loud it might well have been heard down by the Eiffel Tower.
The fourth game was a marathon battle, Henman finally breaking the Tursunov serve on his seventh break point. Unfortunately, he lost his own serve again in the next game.
There followed an exercise in thumping forehands from Tursunov whose style is reminiscent of America's Jim Courier and who would no doubt go much higher than his world ranking of 34 if he could only add consistency to his game.
He only seems to be consistent when he plays Henman. At the end of the second set it was not clear whether Henman wanted to carry on in the gloom or cut and run for the dressing room.
A long discussion followed with German supervisor Soeren Freimel, the upshot of which was they decided to come back today.
It would be a mighty result if Henman turned it round.