Geneva | Murray, Draper and Evans are all first-round casualties

In the last week before the French Open, a number of top players are contesting an ATP250 level event in their final preparations on court, for the second Grand Slam of the year, the major held on clay at Roland Garros.

Amongst those competing at the Gonet Geneva Open are Novak Djokovic and Casper Ruud who head the draw and are seeded to meet in the final.

The British challenge unfortunately faltered in the opening round with both Andy Murray and Jack Draper falling at the first hurdle.

Murray, who last week competed in the Bordeaux Challenger to test his recovery from an ankle injury picked up in Miami last March, came through the first round when his opponent retired while trailing in the second set but then the former world No.1 lost to Frenchman Gregoire Barrere.

In Geneva which marks his return to the main tour since that injury, the three-time grand slam champion suffered his ninth defeat of the season to Yannik Hanfmann, going down 7-5 6-2 in a match which was suspended by rain on Monday with the score at 7-5 4-1 and the German securing his win comfortably on Tuesday.

The first-round prize for the winner is a meeting with the world No.1, Djokovic, which for Murray, would have been his 37th match against the Serbian but it wasn’t to be, no doubt a great disappointment to the Brit.

Djokovic himself has shown signs of frailty this season so the world No.35 from Germany will no doubt believe he has a chance as the Serbian was knocked out of the Rome Masters last week by the Chilean, Francisco Tabilo in round three.

Jack Draper opened his challenge on Tuesday only to go down in straight sets to the Czech Tomas Machac 7-6(6) 6-1.

Draper failed to convert three break points in the fourth game of the first set, which was eventually decided on a close tie-break which set the Czech up to sweep the British No.2 aside in the second.

Fellow Brit Dan Evans also crashed out in the first round of the Lyon Open, another ATP250 level event, but not before putting up his usual spirited performance over three tight set.
Arthur Rinderknech won 6-3 4-6 7-6(6) in front of a boisterous home crowd in a three-hour contest.
Evans held a match point at 6-5 in the third-set tie-break, but the Frenchman hit back by claiming the next three consecutive points.



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