British No 2 Anne Keothavong out of French Open

Anne Keothavong's bid to become the first British woman to win a first-round match at the French Open for 17 years ended in gallant failure after a more than three-hour battle with Russian Vesna Dolonts this afternoon.

Not since Clare Wood beat Gigi Fernandez in 1994 has a British woman tasted victory in the main draw at Roland Garros but hopes were high this year after all three of Britain's representatives received favourable draws.



Keothavong's was perhaps the toughest, against a player ranked seven places higher at 101st, and in the end she could not capitalise on a good start as she went down 3-6 7-6 (7/5) 6-4 after three hours and 21 minutes.



The Londoner, blending in with the court in an orange dress, began impressively and broke her opponent in the opening game of the match on Court 16.



Dolonts hit back but Keothavong was looking extremely solid and generally coming out on top of lengthy baseline exchanges.



The British number two broke serve again in the fifth game and this time she managed to stay ahead despite some concerted pressure from the Russian, and a third break gave her the first set.



Dolonts received lengthy treatment to her right foot before the start of the second but, far from putting off Keothavong, the 27-year-old promptly made it four games in a row.



All the games were very tight, though, and, after saving two break points in the next game, Dolonts fought back to lead 5-3. Twice the Russian served for the set but twice Keothavong, who also received treatment to her feet, broke back to force a tie-break.



The world number 108 was certainly digging deep and she did so again, winning three points in a row to level at 5-5, but a poor return gave Dolonts set point and this time she took it.



Both players took toilet breaks before the decider, where the topsy-turvy nature of the clash continued, with Dolonts twice going a break up before being pegged back.



Keothavong showed tremendous courage to fight back from 0-40 in the eighth game and level at 4-4 but, after another long break while the trainer attended to her thigh, the Briton finally succumbed, serving a double-fault on match point.



Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
tv

News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week