Unwanted Aussie history in Paris

2024 French Open - Day 2
Daria Saville joined the list of Australian losers in Paris. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Five Australians have taken to the clay at Roland Garros across the opening two days of the French Open. All five have lost.

After three losses on the opening day in Paris, a double-dose of defeat for Daria Saville and Max Purcell continued the horror start to the tear’s second Grand Slam.

Saville’s loss to world No.15 Jasmine Paolini created an unwanted piece of Australian history following Ajla Tomljanovic’s opening day loss.

It ensured that for the first time in 27 years, no Australian female made it through to the second round of a tournament won by Ash Barty in 2019.

Saville, the Australian No.1, was beaten in straight sets, 6-3 6-4.

“I felt like the whole match was actually a lot closer than maybe the scoreline suggested, with a lot of deuce games,” Saville said.

“Although she was hurting me with her forehand a lot, I still felt on the baseline rallies, we were head-to-head.”

“Obviously, I’m not happy with the way I served, I gave her a lot of free points. It cost me, especially in the first set.”

Purcell can concentrate on the doubles after missing out on six match points before finally losing his first-round match against qualifier Henri Squire.

The Sydneysider even delivered an underarm serve on one of his failed match points in the five-set loss.

“I’ll go to practice tomorrow, then doubles the next day. The game keeps going, it’s fine,” Purcell, the world No.94 who will play doubles at Roland Garros alongside compatriot Jordan Thompson, said.

“I’m proud of the way that I fought, I should have walked off with the spoils, but that’s tennis, it’s a s*** sport, you don’t always win when you’re winning.”

The losses leave Australian men’s No.1 Alex de Minaur to fly the flag with a second round spot guaranteed for one of his countrymen with Alexei Popyrin taking on Thanasi Kokkinakis, while Rinky Hijikata and Adam Walton will play their opening round clashes on Tuesday night.