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French Open: Dan Evans & Cameron Norrie win at Roland Garros, Harriet Dart loses on debut

Dan Evans is making his fifth appearance in the French Open main draw
Dates: 22 May-5 June Venue: Roland Garros, Paris
Coverage: Live text and radio commentaries of selected matches across BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, the BBC Sport website and app

Britain’s Dan Evans earned his first win at the French Open to celebrate his 32nd birthday in style.

Evans had lost his four previous first-round matches at Roland Garros, but ended that run with a 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 6-4 win over Argentine Francisco Cerundolo.

Earlier, British men’s number one Cameron Norrie earned a battling win against French wildcard Manuel Guinard.

Emma Raducanu started her opening match after Norrie’s win, while Heather Watson and Harriet Dart lost.

Evans, seeded 29th, clinched victory with a stunning backhand winner down the line and then launched into a jubilant celebration that showed how much breaking the barren run meant to him.

Having exchanged breaks in the opening set, three errors from Cerundolo and an Evans winner gave the Briton a 4-0 lead in the tie-break, which he secured with a neat passing backhand.

Evans claimed two early breaks in the second set, and while the Argentine battled back to break in the fifth game, the British player held three service games to take a two-set lead before sealing his place in the next round in style.

After sweeping the red dirt with his hand, the British number two did a golf swing with his racquet as his family and support staff congratulated him from the stands.

Evans will play Mikael Ymer in the second round after the Swede beat Australia’s James Duckworth 6-2 6-4 6-2.

Norrie aiming to ‘tick box’ of reaching second week

Cameron Norrie
Cameron Norrie has never reached the second week of a Grand Slam

Norrie, seeded 10th, has shot up the world rankings, but has still never gone past the third round at a major.

While not initially at his best against Guinard, Norrie outlasted his opponent to win 7-5 6-2 6-0 on the Paris clay.

After a superb couple of years on the ATP Tour, Norrie is looking to transfer his fine form into a deep Grand Slam run.

Norrie, 26, won his second tour title of the season in Lyon on Saturday and is hoping to take that momentum into the French Open.

“I have to be patient with the clay. When I’m playing well I can love it, but when I’m not I have moments where I’m not,” the world number 11 said.

“It feels really good to win today. It would be the first time I’ve made the second week of a Slam and I’d like to tick that box.”

Despite enjoying plenty of success in Lyon, reaching the final last year and the semi-finals in 2018, Norrie has found the conditions at Roland Garros tougher to crack.

The opening stages of the match against Guinard, an unheralded player ranked 158th in the world and making his Grand Slam debut aged 26, required patience.

Lengthy games characterised an opening set that lasted well over an hour, with mistakes rather than quality ending the points.

Norrie pinched the pivotal break when Guinard – panting heavily between the long points – hit a double fault for 6-5 and allowed Norrie to serve out.

Three breaks of serve at the start of the second set were tipped in favour of Norrie, who then moved 5-1 ahead before eventually sealing a two-set lead with his fourth opportunity.

Endurance is one of Norrie’s strengths – along with his forehand from a technical perspective – and both qualities came to the fore in the final set.

“The first set was a battle and I had to hang in there,” said Norrie. “But I was able to hold my intensity and my level.

“In the third set he dropped slightly, I went up a little bit more and was able to free up my forehand.”

Watson, who turned 30 last week, was unable to reach the second round for the sixth time in her career.

The British women’s number two, ranked 103rd, lost 6-3 6-3 against French wildcard Elsa Jacquemot, who is 215th in the world.

Making her main-draw debut at Roland Garros, 25-year-old Dart was beaten 6-0 6-2 by Italy’s Martina Trevisan.

Dart battled hard but 28-year-old Trevisan, who reached the Roland Garros quarter-finals in 2020 and won her first WTA tour title in Rabat last week, was too clinical in the key moments.

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