BEVERLEY’S Kyle Edmund is the last British player standing for the third grand slam running.
The British No 1 made it through to the third round of the French Open with a four-set win over Hungarian Marton Fucsovics.
After Johanna Konta departed on Sunday, Heather Watson fell by the wayside yesterday morning before Cameron Norrie’s run came to an end at the hands of Lucas Pouille.
It leaves Edmund flying the flag on his own in the singles heading into a last-32 clash with Italy’s Fabio Fognini.
“It doesn’t change your way of thinking or anything,” said Edmund. “If you’re the last or the first to go out you’re just focusing on your job at hand and getting on with it.
“It’s just the way it goes. Unfortunately the nature of British tennis is there is not a whole lot.
“So at some points people go out and you stay in and it’s been like that. I have probably been the first to go out of the Brits before, and someone else has been on their own.”
Fucsovics, ranked 45th, went into the contest on a six-match winning streak after claiming his first ATP Tour title in Geneva last week, but lost the first set in just 27 minutes without winning a game.
Edmund had his own slump in the second set when he called the trainer for a problem with the index finger on his right hand, losing the first five games.
The injury is not expected to derail his Roland Garros campaign, however. Edmund explained it was a paper cut.
Nevertheless, the 23-year-old responded well, quickly moving 3-0 ahead in the third and went on to claim a 6-0 1-6 6-2 6-3 victory after two hours and 16 minutes.
Edmund has never played Fognini, the clay-court specialist who took Andy Murray to four sets at Wimbledon last year.
Norrie’s extended stint at the French Open came to an end against Pouille.
The British No 3 earned a stay of execution on Wednesday evening when the 22-year-old pinched the third set in near darkness, ensuring the match would have to continue into yesterday’s schedule.
French No 1 Pouille led 2-1 overnight and served for the fourth set at 6-5 only for Norrie to hit back and force a tie-break.
But Pouille held his nerve and the 15th seed eventually prevailed 6-2 6-4 5-7 7-6 (7/3).
Watson won just two service games on her way to a 6-3 6-4 defeat to Belgium’s Elise Mertens.
It was the sixth time Watson had reached the second round at Roland Garros, but she has still to advance any further.
The 26-year-old’s serve deserted her with five double-faults added to 37 unforced errors giving her a mountain to climb against anyone, let alone the 16th seed.
“There were just too many errors, and I was very up and down,” said Watson.
“I would get on a hot streak and win a couple games, and then I would just make four unforced errors, and that needs to change.
“Also my serve. I had a low first-serve percentage and wasn’t getting as many free points as I would have liked.”
Rafael Nadal’s bid for an 11th French Open title is gathering pace.
The world No 1 steamrollered Argentina’s Guido Pella 6-2 6-1 6-1 in under two hours.