French Open 2020: Heather Watson loses as British singles hopes end on day three

By Jonathan JurejkoBBC Sport
Heather Watson
Heather Watson was aiming to reach the French Open second round for the seventh time in her career

Heather Watson was unable to prolong British interest in the French Open singles after losing her first-round match to France's Fiona Ferro.

Watson, 28, was the final Briton in the draws after five of her compatriots were beaten on the opening two days.

But the world number 56 lost 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 to Ferro, who is ranked seven places higher in the world.

Watson's defeat means she has lost six straight matches since the professional game returned in early August.

The Guernsey player competed at a decent level against the in-form Ferro - in a match delayed by rain and played in damp conditions - but their contrasting results coming into the Grand Slam event in Paris appeared to prove decisive.

Ferro, 23, has climbed into the world's top 50 for the first time on the back of winning a clay-court title at the Palermo Open last month.

That added confidence is what seemed to give her the upper hand in a pivotal first-set tie-break from which Watson could not recover.

The pair continued to be evenly matched in the second set, but again it was Ferro who edged the crucial moments.

Trailing 2-0, she broke back in the third game and then in the seventh to claim a second main-draw win at her home Grand Slam.

Watson's defeat means it is the first time since the French Open in 2013 that there are no British representatives in the second round of a Grand Slam.

Former world number one Andy Murray, along with British number ones Johanna Konta and Dan Evans, lost on Sunday, while Cameron Norrie and Liam Broady followed suit on Monday.

Not all doom and gloom for the Brits

While the singles ended in disappointment, there was some success for British fans to cheer about on Tuesday in the men's doubles.

Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski, the only all-British pairing in the draw, triumphed in their first match together on the Roland Garros clay.

The 13th seeds, who linked up after last year's French Open, converted their fourth match point to win 6-4 4-6 7-5 against Argentina's Juan Ignacio Londero and Czech Jiri Vesely.

Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski playing in the French Open
Murray and Skupski had to play the final set on another court because of no floodlights on the one they started

Norrie, 25, won alongside Hungarian Marton Fucsovics - who earned a notable scalp in the singles when he beat Russian fourth seed Daniil Medvedev on Monday - in a 6-4 2-6 6-2 victory over American pair Mackenzie McDonald and Tennys Sandgren.

But Ken Skupski and his Mexican partner Santiago Gonzalez lost their first-round match.

'Plenty of positives for Watson to take' - analysis

Naomi Cavaday, former British player on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra:

A real shame for Watson, it was not a bad effort at all. What would have made the difference was if she just had a couple of wins under her belt coming into the tournament.

It is about being confident in getting over the line in sets and being confident in those tight points. She just doesn't have that and Ferro has that in bucket loads at the moment.

It was a tight match which came down to some key moments. It was a high-level match and there were plenty of positives that Watson can take.

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