Evans was 7-5 2-0 up but then lost 12 points in a row
French Open
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Dates: 28 May- 11 June
Coverage: Listen to live radio commentary and follow text coverage of selected matches on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and online.

British number four Dan Evans struggled with the heat as he lost 5-7 6-4 6-3 6-1 to Spanish veteran Tommy Robredo in the French Open first round.

Evans, playing in the main draw for the first time, broke twice to win the first set but could not sustain his challenge in temperatures of 33C.

Robredo, 35, is a five-time Paris quarter-finalist and would be ranked higher than his 271 but for injuries.

The Spaniard’s experience proved too much as he sealed a deserved victory.

There are now four British players left in the singles draws at Roland Garros, with Aljaz Bedene in action on Monday and Andy Murray, Kyle Edmund and Johanna Konta playing on Tuesday.

Evans left the court to vomit after the first set, later revealing that his pre-match routine had been disrupted by the preceding match ending unexpectedly quickly with a retirement.

The Briton was keen to point out that was not an excuse for his defeat, adding that Robredo was clearly “a better player” on clay.

Evans was heard to say on court that he was struggling to breathe, describing the experience as “like torture”.

“It was really tough,” he said after the match.

“It was difficult conditions especially for such a physical surface, as well, for me. I clearly found it really hard.”

Asked if he had considered quitting, Evans added: “I always try to complete the matches.

“I didn’t feel good at all, but I think it’s in the spirit to just carry on playing.”

Analysis

BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller in Paris

Evans fought hard in stifling heat, but his lack of pre-match confidence was not misplaced.

Robredo recovered from two sets to love down three times in a row at the 2013 French Open, and likes nothing more than a sapping clay-court struggle.

Evans has improved on the surface in recent weeks – he now hits through his backhand with much more force – but won’t be sorry his next event is on grass.

Thiem impresses with rapid win

Thiem is seen as a possible title contender after reaching last year’s semi-finals

Elsewhere on day one, Austria’s Dominic Thiem – the only player to defeat nine-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal on clay this season – powered past Bernard Tomic 6-4 6-0 6-2 in 80 minutes.

“It was very hot out there, so I’m happy that I won in three sets,” said the 23-year-old sixth seed.

“It was a tough opponent and a close first set. I was also a little bit nervous before the match and because of these circumstances I’m happy with my performance.”

Meanwhile, 11th seed Grigor Dimitrov will be Robredo’s next opponent after the Bulgarian defeated France’s Stephane Robert 6-2 6-3 6-4 to reach the second round for the first time in four years.

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