28 May 2024

Dan Evans and Katie Boulter complete first-round British wipeout at French Open

28 May 2024

Dan Evans and Katie Boulter were both beaten in the first round of the French Open to complete a total British wipeout.

Evans fell to Holger Rune in straight sets before Boulter suffered late-night heartbreak against Paula Badosa.

They joined Jack Draper, Andy Murray, Cameron Norrie and Harriet Dart through the exit door to complete a British challenge as miserable as the Paris weather.

Evans declared himself “fed up with umpires” after he suffered another first-round defeat at his least favourite grand slam.

The British number three had a furious row with umpire Jaume Campistol after the Spanish official had two lengthy discussions with the young Dane in the third set.

Campistol issued Rune a warning for smashing his racket on the ground and then in the next game talked through a line call while Evans waited to serve.

Evans was immediately broken and lost his rag at the official, fuming: “He doesn’t need a conversation on my serve. Let the f****** match play.

“Do your job! You don’t have to have a conversation with him. It’s twice in two games. Madness.”

The 34-year-old, fined after a recent argument with an umpire in Rome, said after his 6-4 6-4 6-4 defeat: “I’m fed up with the umpires, full stop.

“One second he has a conversation the game before because he’s hit his racket. I don’t care if he wants a conversation on his serve – but it’s not really a conversation about the other one.

“Guy sees the ball, the other guy says the ball is out, that’s it. I feel like I’m on a roll and I was disrupted, but it’s not Rune’s fault if he’s allowed to have a conversation.

“It was just a chat. And I’m waiting to serve. It’s freezing on the court. The match was flowing great and then it just stopped in the middle and I don’t understand.

“But anyway, that’s not the reason I lost. That’s just part of the issue, part of the problem, but he’ll be back in work again tomorrow.”

Evans had earlier been left in a flap by a pigeon, who got under Court Suzanne Lenglen’s new roof and dive-bombed him.

The 34-year-old could at least force a smile as the ‘clay pigeon’ landed on the baseline and Rune and a ball kid shooed it away.

But it was Rune who was homing in on victory to condemn Evans to a sixth first-round defeat in seven visits to Paris.

It was also a seventh straight loss and a 16th since the turn of the year, leaving Evans slipping down the pecking order in the rankings.

Boulter’s defeat was probably the most agonising of the lot after she was a set and a break up to Spanish former world number two Badosa.

The British number one had three break points for 6-5 in the second, missed them all and was finally beaten at 11.30pm, at the end of a rain-interrupted day in the French capital.

“My level is getting better every week but today was not my day unfortunately,” said Boulter.

“Full credit to her, she raised her level. I’m here contending with the best and she was two in the world for a reason. It hurts and I’ll have a tough night sleeping tonight.”

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