Paris | Evans and Norrie suffer opening round losses

The British men’s singles challenge ended on Tuesday, three days into this season’s French Open, with he loss of Dan Evans to the young Dane Holger Rune following defeats of Cameron Norrie to Russia’s Pavel Kosov a day earlier and those of Andy Murray and Jack Draper on the opening day. The last time that has occurred in the men’s draw was in 2020.

I didn't play well at all but still think I had enough to win quite comfortably Cameron Norrie

Ranked at 57 Kotov beat Norrie 4-6 6-3 3-6 7-6(5) 6-2 to record his second victory in a Grand Slam event leaving Norrie shattered.

.”I’m pretty devastated with the result,” Norrie said in his news conference after his first defeat in the opening round since Melbourne 2022.

“I didn’t play well at all but still think I had enough to win quite comfortably.”

The 32nd seed was broken early in the first set and at one stage trailed 4-1 but won five consecutive games to take a 1-0 lead.

In the second set he had two break points saved in the opening game before losing his serve at 5-3 as Kotov rallied.

The pair traded breaks at the start of the third, with 25-year-old Kotov losing his serve late in the set before Norrie held to love to take a 2-1 lead.

Norrie was then broken early in the fourth and at one point trailed 4-1, before recovering to 5-4 down and saving a set point.

In the tie-break he came back from 5-2 down to level but then hit two errors to take the match to a decider.

In the fifth set Norrie was broken in his first two service games as Kotov cruised into the second round for the first time.

“For the first four sets I was in control,” Norrie added. “I had so many chances and he played better than me in the tie-break and deserved to win the fifth.”

Stan Wawrinka, champion in 2015, awaits Kotov next after the Swiss 39-year-old defeated Andy Murray in straight sets on day one.

Daniel Evans will now concentrate on the doubles

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Meanwhile Evans’ challenge was snuffed out by the 13th seeded Rune 6-4 6-4 6-4 in an encounter filled with drop shots, powerful serves, an argument with the umpire and even a court-invading pigeon.

Rune, who now faces Italy’s Flavio Cobolli in the second round, described the match as‘fun’.

“Yeah, it was fun,” Rune said. “It was also difficult, you know Dan, he’s a tricky player, he’s trying all the time, so it makes it difficult.

“But honestly, I’m happy, it was the first round. Physically I feel great which is nice, and the tennis is getting better. I’m just trying to build.”

Evans clashed with both the umpire and a pigeon which had invaded the court forcing him to sidestep! The Brit also strongly questioned the Spanish umpire Jaume Campistol as the Dane challenged two calls.

Speaking after his win, Rune said: “I don’t want to say everything I like to do on the court, but I definitely like to be creative. I feel like it’s a part of my game. I like to drop shot as you see, I like to come forward to the net, that’s always how I practice since I was very, very young.

“It’s not just forehand and backhand, it’s trying to have all dimensions in the game so when you come up against the best players in the world, they can’t find a weakness in you. That’s what I’m trying to build every time.”

Evans will now join Andy Murray to contest the doubles where the British challenge will now be focused on.

Holger Rune is still building his game

(Photo by Antonio Borga/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)



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