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British trio advance to second round of French Open

British trio advance to second round of French Open
© Reuters
British trio Emma Raducanu, Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans all book their spots in the second round of the French Open, but Harriet Dart and Heather Watson crash out.

Emma Raducanu, Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans all advanced to the second round of the French Open on a strong opening day for the Brits.

Making her debut at Roland Garros, Raducanu was forced to battle hard against Czech qualifier Linda Noskova - two years her junior - and lost the first set to the 17-year-old.

However, Raducanu came back fighting to level proceedings and force a deciding third set, and Noskova's resistance was ultimately broken late on.

The Czech teenager netted what should have been a straightforward smash to hand Raducanu two match points, and the Brit's cross-court winner ensured her place in round two.

Speaking to Eurosport after her 6-7 [4-7] 7-5 6-1 victory, Raducanu said: "It was an absolute battle. I'm proud of the way I fought.

"Linda really came out there firing and as soon as I dropped my ball speed she was all over me. It was really challenging in the second set - I'm really proud of how I fought but all props to Linda."

Cameron Norrie in action at the French Open on May 23, 2022© Reuters

Belarusian player Aliaksandra Sasnovich now awaits Raducanu in round two, and there was further success for GB on the men's side of the tournament.

Fresh from clinching the Lyon Open title, Norrie saw off French qualifier Manuel Guinard in straight sets, but it was a far from straightforward affair from the world number 11.

A double fault from the Frenchman allowed Norrie to take a 6-5 lead in the first set, and the Brit soon found his groove to clinch a 7-5 6-2 6-0 victory in the first-round encounter.

Norrie has been rewarded with a tie against Australian qualifier Jason Kubler in the second round and is aiming to better his third-round exit from Roland Garros last year.

Meanwhile, there was a slice of birthday joy for Evans, who celebrated turning 32 in perfect fashion by getting the better of Argentina's Francisco Cerundolo in straight sets.

Having previously suffered four consecutive first-round exits in the Grand Slam tournament, Evans clinched a 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 6-4 victory to ensure that he would leave with a best-ever finish at the French Open.

Dan Evans in action at the French Open on May 23, 2022© Reuters

Evans will face Sweden's Mikael Ymer for a spot in the third round, but it was not all plain sailing for the Brits on day two, with only three of the five competitors progressing.

Italy's Martina Trevisan barely broke a sweat during her battle with Harriet Dart, who was swiftly eliminated following a 0-6 2-6 defeat - winning just 37 points on the day.

There was also disappointment for Heather Watson, whose clash with Elsa Jacquemot ended in a 3-6 3-6 defeat - missing out on a potential third-round battle with Raducanu in the process.

Elsewhere, Naomi Osaka's French Open run came to an immediate end at the hands of Amanda Anisimova 5-7 4-6, and the two-time Grand Slam winner admitted afterwards that she would likely skip Wimbledon after the stripping of points.

Defending women's champion Barbora Krejcikova saw the crown slip out of her grasp as she lost 6-1 2-6 3-6 to Diane Parry, but world number one Iga Swiatek comfortably made it past Lesia Tsurenko 6-2 6-0.

There were also wins for Rafael Nadal and Marin Cilic, but Stan Wawrinka lost out to Corentin Moutet in four sets - despite taking the first.

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Dan Evans pictured at the Italian Open on May 9, 2022
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