O'Brien joins early British exits from French Open

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The Independent Online

Katie O'Brien today completed a hat-trick of first-round British exits at the French Open after a battling 6-0 4-6 6-2 defeat to Jill Craybas.

O'Brien emulated fellow Brits Anne Keothavong and Elena Baltacha when she lost the first set to love this morning.

But unlike her compatriots, the 24-year-old from Beverley fought back to level the match, despite a string of unforced errors in what was a topsy-turvy second set.

The British number two, who had an easier tie on paper than Keothavong and Baltacha, was broken twice but Craybas dropped serve three times to hand her opponent parity.

Veteran American Craybas used all her experience to regain the initiative early in the decider as O'Brien continued to struggle on serve.

World number 92 Craybas, 35, went close to a double break in a marathon game five before being forced to save break-back point in the next.

She raced to 0-40 in game seven, breaking to 15 before comfortably serving out the match.