Italian Open: Dan Evans loses to Taylor Fritz in Rome

Dan Evans returns a ball in his Rome Masters match against Taylor Fritz
Evans has never won a main-draw match at the Rome Masters

British number one Dan Evans lost in the first round of the Italian Open against American opponent Taylor Fritz.

Evans, who is ranked a career-high 26th in the world, has enjoyed success on the clay this season, but was out of sorts in a 6-3 6-2 defeat in Rome.

The 30-year-old struggled on serve throughout and showed his annoyance at the end of the first set by breaking his racquet in an angry outburst.

Evans could not recover and lost two of eight break points in the second set.

Despite this disappointment, there have been plenty of positives for Evans in the clay-court swing.

After previously having struggled on the surface, the Briton beat world number one Novak Djokovic on his way to the Monte Carlo semi-finals and then reached the last 16 in Madrid last week.

Fritz, who is ranked 31st, will meet Serbia's Djokovic in the second round.

Benoit Paire takes a picture of a ball mark in his Italian Open match
Paire, who claimed a ball which had been called out was in, has won just two of his 14 matches in 2021

Meanwhile, France's Benoit Paire took a picture of a disputed line call on his mobile phone before losing to Italy's Stefano Travaglia.

Paire asked the chair umpire Carlos Bernardes if he would be fined, saying he would pay any potential sanction anyway, before taking his phone from his bag to snap what he considered to be a wrongly called mark.

Paire, ranked 35th in the world, went on to lose 6-3 6-4 against Travaglia.

Paire has been widely criticised for his behaviour this year, which has included spitting on court at the Argentina Open and led to the 32-year-old being barred from representing France at the Tokyo Olympics.

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