Cam Norrie was in formidable form in his first round match beating Bjorn Fratangelo in straight sets 7-5 7-6 6-2 - but Johanna Konta bowed out as British interest in the women's singles ended at the first hurdle.
Norrie needed 52 minutes to see off Fratangelo in the first set, which was a close run affair. Both men broke the other’s serve at the first time of asking and the set remained too close to call until Norrie broke Fratangelo again in 12th game.
Norrie saved seven break points in the first set and converted three of the five he engineered. The match was equally competitive in the second set. Norrie was a break up, but pegged back just in the knick of time by Fratangelo, who forced a tie-break.
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But after almost an hour of play in the second set, Norrie took control by taking the first two points and seeing out a 7-5 tie-breaker win.
The British number three opened the third set by breaking his opponent, who finally seemed to be waning. Norrie was superb on the back foot and exploited some tired-looking shots from Fratangelo.
His opponent hit right back but in the process of losing the fifth game and falling 4-2 behind, Fratangelo let his frustrations show by banging his racket against the clay court.
Norrie kept up his momentum, breaking Fratangelo in the very next game and eventually seeing out a closely contested final game to book his place in the next round.
South African Lloyd Harris or Italian Lorenzo Sonego await Norrie in the second round.
Konta was well beaten 7-6(5) 6-2 by Sorana Cirstea. The 30-year-old was hampered by her poor first serve, which failed to break 60% accuracy, while her Romanian opponent was well above 70% over the course of the match.
The 19th-seed Briton pushed Cirstea hard and the first set went down to a tie-break, but she could not seize the initiative.
Konta had to win the second set in order to stay in the tournament, but Cirstea raced into a 5-1 lead, with the former semi-finalist delaying the inevitable by a a rare successful service game.
That was too little, too late as Cirstea made light work of serving for the match.
Heather Watson endured a deeply frustrating afternoon up against Zarina Diyas, losing in straight sets 6-4 7-5.
The world number 71 began the match on top, racing into a 4-3 lead and appearing poised to take the first set.
Diyas rallied however to break Watson’s serve for the first time and then went on to win the next four games in a row.
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After the first set slipped from her fingers, Watson staged a fightback but her lacklustre serve repeatedly derailed her efforts. The second game of the second set lasted over ten minutes as Watson battled hard to hold her serve.
Diyas superb form on Watson’s serve continued as she mustered up a remarkable 12 break points in the second set. The Kazakhstan underdog was decisive in her decision-making while Watson failed to find any real rhythm.
Watson won just 33% off her second serve, but did save ten of the 12 break points she faced. In comparison, Watson produced just two break points against Diyas and also racked up 18 unforced errors in the second set.
Diyas eventually put Watson out of her misery and in typical fashion as the Brit missed a volley shot to concede the set and the match.
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