French Open 2024 results: Britain’s Dan Evans defeated by Holger Rune, while Katie Boulter exits

Image source, fake images

Screenshot, Dan Evans achieved the only victory of his career at the French Open in 2022

Dan Evans and Katie Boulter exited the French Open in the first round on Tuesday, leaving Great Britain without representatives in the singles main draw.

Evans fell to a straight sets defeat against Danish 13th seed Holger Rune.

His 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 loss to 21-year-old Rune ended British interest in the men’s singles draw following defeats by Cameron Norrie, Jack Draper and Andy Murray.

It is only the fourth time this century that no British singles player has reached the second round at Roland Garros (also in 2007, 2013 and 2020).

With Harriet Dart also out of the women’s draw, Boulter was the only Briton left when her rain-delayed campaign began in the evening.

But despite winning the first set, the British number one fell 4-6, 7-5 and 6-4 against the Spanish Paula Badosa.

Boulter loses battle with his friend Badosa

Boulter, 27, had never before appeared in the main draw in Paris and faced a potentially tough challenge in former world number two Badosa after their match was eventually moved to court nine once the rain cleared .

That seemed to be the case when Badosa, 26, who has battled injuries for the past 12 months, took a 4-2 lead in the first set.

But French Open debutant Boulter immediately bounced back against the former junior champion en route to winning four straight games to take the first set.

The world number 26 carried that momentum into the second and broke before Badosa fought back and, with Boulter missing opportunities on her own serve, took the match to a decisive point.

Badosa revealed that the two are “good friends” before their tie, but that didn’t stop them from becoming embroiled in an encounter that lasted well into the Parisian night and ended just before midnight local time.

Boulter applauded a magnificent backhand winner from Badosa after a long comeback from 4-4 on serve by the Spaniard and could only admire another aerial shot as her opponent closed to within one game of the second round.

Boulter double-faulted to give Badosa two match points and then found the net with a forehand as the Spaniard sealed her progress after two hours and 18 minutes.

“It’s going to be a tough night and I’m sure I’ll repeat that game,” Boulter said.

“There were a lot of points that were very close. She hit a couple of lines and I missed by millimeters on a couple of shots that could have changed the entire game.

“I have to go back and focus on the positives. I think I can become a strong clay court player.”

Evans ‘fed up with referees’ after defeat

World number 62 Evans, who has won just one match in seven main draw appearances at the French Open, was unable to match his best run in Paris as two-time quarter-finalist Rune claimed an impressive victory.

Evans, the British number three, attacked to save two break points in a grueling 13-minute third game on Court Suzanne Lenglen, but Rune finally made her breakthrough to take a 5-4 lead before serving out the first set.

Evans underwent another close examination at the start of the second set, saving four break points and launching a positive response by creating her first chance on Rune’s serve.

However, it was again Rune who struck first, and the single break again proved enough after he produced an ace on the second serve to save a break point when serving to take a two-set lead.

The Brit became frustrated after Rune immediately broke serve midway through a must-win third set, and the pair exchanged words after Rune interrupted Evans’ service game to dispute a decision with the referee.

Evans, who was fined after a recent argument with a referee in Rome, said afterwards: “I’m sick of referees, period.

“I feel like I’m on a roll and got interrupted, but it’s not Rune’s fault if he’s allowed to have a conversation.

“It was just a talk, and I’m waiting to serve. It’s very cold on the court, the game went very well and then it stopped in the middle and I don’t understand it.”

Having leveled the set at 4-2 down, Rune maintained her momentum to make the decisive break before completing the service victory by winning a fourth consecutive game.

“That’s not the reason I lost,” Evans added. “That’s just part of it, part of the problem, but he (the referee) will be back to work tomorrow.”

Evans, who lost in the first round of the Australian Open in January, will return to action alongside Murray in the men’s doubles, the start of which was delayed by persistent rain on Tuesday.