Dan Evans STUNNED in the first round of French Open by Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic in a three hour epic.
Dan Evans STUNNED in first round of French Open by Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic in three-hour epic … leaving UK No.1 in TWO years without a win at Roland Garros
- Dan Evans was eliminated by Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic
- World champion No. 48 Kecmanovic triumphed with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 victory in Paris
- Since 2019, there is still no victory in British singles at the French Open
- Watch the French Open live on Eurosport and Eurosport app
Dan Evans started this clay court season by beating the best of all Serbian tennis players and ended by losing to a few outdoor tennis players they’ve ever heard of.
If anything sums up the last nine months for the British No. 1 it is his win over Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo and his defeat to Miomir Kecmanovic on Sunday.
Evans has had impressive results overall on the regular tour, but has not been able to repeat them at the Grand Slams, where he won just one game in the last four.
Dan Evans suffered a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 defeat to Miomir Kecmanovic in the French Open
Losing 1-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 to former junior world No. 1 Kecmanovic, not exactly a slut in the senior ranking at 48, extended the series.
‘It’s hard to take. I felt good when I came in and played good tennis,” Evans said. ‘That’s the nature of the game. You are out of the tournament before it has even started. So it’s a sad end to a decent clay season, it’s hard to get a sugar coating on it.’
On a sunny day under lively conditions during a three-hour game, his serve lacked consistency and his backhand slice, often tricky for opponents, held up nicely.
Kecmanovic triumphed in the first round of the competition despite Evans’ good start
“If I serve like that, it’s going to be a very hard time on the grass. It’s getting a little too common to break up in Grand Slam sets and not put them away. At this point it would be good to get past the first round in a Slam.”
During best-of-five matches, players are given more time to work out Evans’ variations and, after a sloppy first set, the 21-year-old Serb found more rhythm as he started playing as the natural clay court that he is.
Evans will now need a few days to decide on his next move, which could mean he plays a tournament next week, although he admitted he felt fatigued from so much time in the bubble.
“Hopefully something good will come of this – a little more time on the grass and I’ll be a little better prepared for Queen’s and Wimbledon,” he said.
British tennis will try to avoid a repeat of last year’s shameful first-round elimination from the French Open.
On Monday, in-form Cam Norrie will face US qualifier Bjorn Fratangelo, while 2019 semifinalist Jo Konta will take on Romanian Sorana Cirstea, who defeated her at the 2020 US Open.
Dominic Thiem, fourth-seeded Dominic Thiem, the US Open champion and double finalist in Paris, was the biggest casualty of the day, losing 4-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to 35-year-old Spaniard Pablo Andújar.
Evans’ defeat means there hasn’t been a British singles win over Roland Garros since 2019
The Austrian is normally seen as one of the few real threats to Rafael Nadal on clay, but has had a scorching year in which he appears to have struggled to adapt to his breakout in New York last September.
He admitted that was a factor, saying: ‘It’s great to achieve such a big goal, but at the same time, there’s something different after that. It’s a big learning process and despite the loss I still hope I can come back stronger. At the moment I don’t know when that moment will come.’
German Alex Zverev came back from two sets behind and defeated little-known compatriot Oscar Otte 3-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-0.
The No. 6 won some friends after she showed up late for the match and then told referee Louise Engzell, ‘You know how Naomi said you can fine her for any match she’s not at a press conference? Well, you can fine me for any late game.”