By Philip James

Juan Sebastian Cabal / Robert Farah def Ken Skupski / Xavier Malisse 6-4, 4-6, 6-3

Ken Skupksi was the first British man on court for the French Open main draws, but also the first man out as he and Xavier Malisse lost to Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah today.

This was the second tournament this year that the Liverpudlian and partnered the veteran Belgian but they have lost their first matches both times.

It looked like a tough first round draw for the Brit, with their opponents both ranked slightly higher (Skupski-69, Malisse – 54, Cabal- 44, Farah -52) and so it proved as the Colombians triumphed 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

Cabal and Farah took the first set, breaking twice to their opponents once but Skupski and Malisse, who is also top 60 singles player, fought back to take the second with the only break.

After sharing 13 break points over the first two sets, both teams started to hold more comfortably in the third.

Though Skupski and Malisse won more receiving points (seven to their opponents six), it was the Colombians who strung enough of those points together to force the only break point of the set.

They took it, and with it the match in an hour and 33 minutes and progress to round two.


After Laura Robson lost yesterday, and Elena Baltacha this evening, that makes it three losses from three for the Brits so far.

Heather Watson will play tomorrow and the British Tennis public will be relying on her for some singles success on the French red clay, but plenty more interest in the men’s, women’s and mixed doubles.

Jamie Murray also starts his doubles campaign tomorrow; he and Australian John Peers are up against 15th seeds Julian Knowle and Filip Polasek.

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