ILLNESS could have cost Bryan Klein a place in the second round of the $150,000 Aegon Ilkley Trophy.

The 27-year-old Briton was a set and a break up against second seed Norbert Gombos of Slovakia, only to lose 1-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.

World No 209 Klein, who reached the semi-finals a year ago in the ATP Challenger, began to feel ill during the first set on another warm day and vomited on court early in the final set.

“Maybe it was something I ate, I don’t know, but I just didn’t have any energy on my serve,” admitted Klein, who looked pale and drawn when he spoke exclusively to the Telegraph & Argus.

“I didn’t feel much worse as the match went on but I could have won it in two sets.”

World No 98 Gombos looked ill at ease himself for a set and a half but eventually began to time his forehand better, and admitted: “I made too many mistakes early on, I didn’t serve well and I didn’t return well, but after I broke back in the second set I felt more confident.”

It seemed that Australian-born Klein was on his way to a comfortable first-round victory when he won eight of the opening ten games, but Gombos gradually began to time the ball better, particularly on his forehand, and often pinned the Briton behind the baseline with his powerful groundstrokes.

Klein asked for a doctor due to his illness when he was broken to trail 4-3 in the final set, but none was available in time, so he had to make do with a physio and, although he held his next service game and had a break point to make it 5-5 in the final set, the battling Briton bowed out.

The quality of the field now that the men’s prize-money has tripled has made it tougher for home nation players to progress, and not only did none of the four British wild cards make it through qualifying, there was not even a winner.

Julian Cash, a 20-year-old from Brighton, was the only male player to take a set, losing 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 6-4 to El Salvador Davis Cup player Marcelo Arevalo.

There were straight-sets defeats for former Ilkley winner Neil Pauffley, who paid for a slow start against Australian Open doubles semi-finalist Marc Polmans, for Ryan Storrie, Finn Bass, Barnaby Smith and Steeton-born Jonny O’Mara.

The latter was trailing sixth seed Michael Mmoh (United States) 6-1, 4-1 when he retired due to injury.

There was better luck in the women’s qualifying as 23-year-old Alicia Barnett won an all-British clash against 16-year-old Francesca Jones, whose parents live in Oxenhope, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3.

Barnett then bowed out 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 to Canada’s Bianca Andreescu.

Tomorrow the attention turns to Marcus Willis and Laura Robson in the singles and, in a quality men's doubles field, Leander Paes.