Dan Evans and Katie Boulter suffer defeats in the first round of the French Open at Roland Garros | Tennis news

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

Evans, the British number 3 was caught by a bird and rowed furiously with president Jaume Campistol before being sent home by Danish number 13 Rune, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, while Boulter fell 4 -6, 7-5, 6-. 4 to former world number 2 Badosa.

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

The high point of Evans’ match came in the third set after Rune was booked for smashing his racquet on the ground and argued his case.

In the next game, Evans, a breakaway, was waiting to serve when Rune disputed a line call, sparking another lengthy argument.

Evans immediately snapped and lost control, furious: “You don’t need a conversation about my serve. Let’s just let the damn match play out.”

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

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

Roland Garros bosses are so pleased with the new roof they installed on Court Suzanne Lenglen that they inaugurated it at the weekend.

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

Evans was at least able to force a smile when the ‘clay dove’ landed on the baseline and Rune and a ball boy shooed it away.

But it was Rune who scored the victory to condemn Evans to a sixth first-round loss in seven visits to Paris.

It was also a seventh consecutive defeat and 16th since the turn of the year, leaving Evans falling down the pecking order of the standings.

The 34-year-old, fined after a recent argument with a referee in Rome, said after his defeat: “I’m fed up with referees, period.

“A second has a conversation about the previous game because he hit his racquet. I don’t care if he wants a conversation about 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 all. I feel like I’m on a roll and I 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.

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

Boulter’s loss was probably the most agonizing of all after she was in a set and broke with Badosa.

The British number 1 had three break points for 6-5 in the second, missed them all and was finally defeated at 11:30 p.m., at the end of a day interrupted by rain in the French capital.

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