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Dan Evans and Katie Boulter suffers first-round French Open defeats at Roland Garros | Tennis News


Dan Evans was left in a flap by Holger Rune, the umpire and a pigeon as he exited the French Open in the first round again, while Katie Boulter suffered late-night heartbreak against Paula Badosa.

Evans, the British No 3 was startled by a bird and rowed furiously with chair official Jaume Campistol before being sent packing by Danish 13th seed Rune 6-4 6-4 6-4, while Boulter went down 4-6 7-5 6-4 to former world No 2 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.

The flashpoint in Evans’ match came in the third set after Rune was warned for smashing his racket against the ground and argued his case.

In the next game Evans, a break up, was waiting to serve when Rune disputed a line call, prompting another lengthy discussion.

Evans was immediately broken and lost his rag, 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.”

Earlier, in the second set, Evans had to take evasive action after he was dive-bombed by a pigeon.

Roland Garros chiefs are so pleased with the new roof they had installed on Court Suzanne Lenglen that they gave it an inauguration ceremony at the weekend.

But an obvious flaw is the gaps between the roof and the walls of the arena, which are big enough for pigeons to fly in, but too small for them to find their way back out.

Evans could at least force a smile as the ‘clay pigeon’ landed on the baseline and Rune and a ball kid shooed it away.

But was Rune who homed 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.

The 34-year-old, fined after a recent argument with an umpire in Rome, said after his 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 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.”

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

The British No 1 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.

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