Carlos Alcaraz has dismissed suggestions that the pressures of raised expectations were behind his Monte-Carlo defeat to Sebastian Korda.
The 19-year-old hit the headlines when he had a brilliant recent Sunshine Double, with him reaching the semi-finals of Indian Wells and winning the Miami Open.
That propelled him to number 11 in the world ahead of clay season, which many analysts believe is his best surface.
His clay campaign started in disappointment, though, as Korda won a three hour marathon 7-6, 6-7, 6-3.
Despite the loss, though, Alcaraz was keen to quickly move on.
"I'm a bit disappointed with myself," he said. "I had a lot of chances to be up in the match and close to winning, but these losses sometimes [are] good to live.
"I didn't think about the expectations that the people have [for] me. I just focussed on me and what I have to do. But as I said, you have to play more matches on clay courts."
Korda is the son of former Australian Open winner Petr Korda, and he is widely regarded as America's top young male talent right now.
He will face another American next - the in-form Taylor Fritz
"It was nice to get the victory today," Korda, who is making his Monte Carlo debut, said after the match.
"I stayed calm and believed in my returning. It was super tough, every time he threw up the ball it moved around. It was a crazy match."
Elsewhere, Lorenzo Musetti - who has long been heralded as a long-term rival for Alcaraz - produced a stunning performance to beat sixth-seed Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-2, 7-6.