Bad day for Britain as Andy Murray heads French Open first round exits

BRITISH hopes in the men’s singles at the French Open were ended at the first hurdle after defeats for Andy Murray, Dan Evans, Liam Broady and Cameron Norrie.

Early exit: Britain's Andy Murray plays a shot in his heavy defeat against Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

And with Johanna Konta also a first-round casualty, Heather Watson is left to fly the British flag when she takes on Fiona Ferro of France later today.

Only Evans can look back on the day with any positive feelings having produced his best performance at Roland Garros in a 1-6 6-1 7-6 (3) 1-6 6-4 loss to former world No 4 Kei Nishikori, who is working his way back after elbow surgery.

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For Konta and, in particular Murray, this was a chastening day, with the former world No 1’s 6-1 6-3 6-2 loss to Wawrinka his joint worst at a grand slam during his entire career.

The Scot served poorly and was made to pay brutally by 2015 champion Wawrinka, who made extremely light of the cold conditions.

Murray tried to look forward with optimism, saying: “I wouldn’t expect to physically be the same as what I was before I had the (hip) operation.

“But, in terms of ball striking and my strokes and stuff, there is no reason that I shouldn’t be able to do that from a technical perspective.

“It’s going to be difficult for me to play the same level as I did before. I’m 33 now and I was ranked number one in the world.

“But I’ll keep going.”

Konta’s disappointing year in the slams concluded with an error-strewn 6-3 6-3 defeat by Gauff.

Konta, who made 41 unforced errors, said: “It’s unfortunate that it happened here but I just didn’t play too well. I just didn’t find a good enough level.”

Broady’s main-draw debut came to an end in a 6-2 5-7 6-3 6-2 defeatagainst Czech Jiri Vesely, while Norrie bowed out in five sets to Colombian Daniel Elahi Galan.