Cameron Norrie becomes the latest Briton to exit the French Open in round one… after Nick Kyrgios and Jim Courier join defence of Andy Murray following wildcard criticism from former world No 1 Mats Wilander
- Cameron Norrie became the latest Briton to exit the French Open early on
- The British number 3 lost 4-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 to Colombia’s Daniel Elahi Galan
- Stan Wawrinka easily overcame Andy Murray in French Open first round
- Murray’s lack of playing time was evident as he was dispatched by Wawrinka
- Wilander said Murray should look at whether it was right to take wildcards
British tennis is facing a first-round singles wipeout at the French Open today, after Cam Norrie became the penultimate GB player to fall.
Playing in the first proper night session in the event’s 129-year history, the British No 3 went down 4-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 to Colombia’s Daniel Elahi Galan.
At the historically late hour of 10.37pm local time under the new lights at Roland Garros he finally unravelled, leaving only Heather Watson standing. She meets Italy’s Fiona Ferro today.
Cameron Norrie (above) became the latest Brit to crash out of the French Open at round one
Daniel Elahi Galan beat the British number three 4-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 on Monday
Norrie’s demise followed that on the opening evening of Andy Murray, whose friends rallied round him yesterday in the wake of comments from former world No 1 Mats Wilander questioning whether he is right to carrry on.
After Murray’s heavy defeat by Stan Wawrinka, Wilander’s views were branded ‘pathetic’ by Dani Vallverdu, who coaches the Swiss player responsible for ousting him.
Andy Murray leaves court after being thrashed by 2015 French Open champion Stan Wawrinka
Swedish legend Wilander, winner of seven Grand Slam titles, is never afraid to speak his mind and said Murray should look at whether it was right to take wildcards at the expense of younger players.
Vallverdu, a former coach and close friend of Murray, was unimpressed, saying via Twitter: ‘He’s entitled to his opinion like I’m entitled to mine to think that’s absolutely pathetic from Mats.’
Nick Kyrgios, another of the 33-year-old Scot’s mates, gave one of his customarily robust responses: ‘Shut up Mats, no one cares. Muzz, just know that however long you stay, we all appreciate and enjoy your tennis and banter. Also I’ve never watched a point of Mats Wilander.’
Murray’s lack of playing time was exposed by Wawrinka in the French Open first round
Wawrinka celebrates following his emphatic victory over the Brit at Roland Garros
Jim Courier, the former Roland Garros champion working for ITV, was more measured, but argued: ‘I think this isn’t the end of Andy Murray unless he wants it to be. He is realistic about what that looks like and I think everyone should be as well.
‘Andy has every right to take wildcards if they are offered and tournaments have every right to give them to him if they want to.’
Anne Keothavong, captain of Britain’s Fed Cup (now Billie Jean King Cup) team, suggested that Murray could look to change his longstanding support staff to try to get the most out of what remains in his career.
‘Maybe he might take a long hard look at the team he is working with,’ she said. ‘They have done a great job with him but maybe he needs somebody else to help fire that spark.’
Mats Wilander (above) said Murray should look at whether it was right to take wildcards
Wilander is definitely one of the game’s better pundits, although he will have a job to persuade people why a former member of the old ‘Big Four’ has not earned the right to choose the manner of his own departure.
An underlying issue is that under the temporary Covid ranking system it is going to be harder for Murray to climb the rankings than in normal times, meaning more requests for wildcards.
Earlier yesterday Liam Broady, making his main draw debut, went out 6-2, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 to Jiri Vesely from the Czech Republic, finding the step up in class too much.