SIZE eventually counted against diminutive Brit Daniel Cox in a gutsy and gruelling attempt to come through qualifying for the men's event at Eastbourne.

The 23-year-old Lancastrian's quest to reach the main draw was narrowly thwarted by giant Australian left-hander Chris Guccione.

An intrigued crowd gathered in chilly conditions on court three at tea-time yesterday, once Cox had levelled the little v large encounter 7-5 in the second set tie break.

He lost the decisive tie break 7-2, Guccione edging through 6-3, 6-7, 7-6 and ending a challenge which began for Cox on Saturday with wins against Rhett Purcell and American Michael Russell, who retired after three games due to illness.

The 5ft 7ins Cox defied his height disadvantage against the 6ft 7ins Guccione, soundly staying in touch from the baseline with the New York-based and net-dominant doubles specialist.

He has the consolation of a wild card for Wimbledon after featuring in qualifying at both the Australian and French Opens this year and improving his ranking to a career-high of 213.

Cox's fellow Lancastrian and Wimbledon wild card recipient Daniel Smethurst also missed out in adding to the strong British interest in the men's main draw. He was unable to convert two set points in the second set as he was beaten by Slovenian second seed Blaz Rola 6-3, 7-6.