|Dates: 28 May-11 June Venue: Roland Garros, Paris|
|Coverage: Live text and radio commentaries of selected matches across BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra, the BBC Sport website and app|
Cameron Norrie’s bid to crack the French Open last 16 came undone once again as Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti outclassed the British number one.
Norrie, 27, lost in the Roland Garros third round for the third successive year with the 6-1 6-2 6-4 defeat.
Norrie, who was seeded 14th, is ranked higher than Musetti, but produced an error-strewn display against the Italian 17th seed on the Paris clay.
Norrie’s exit means there are no British players left in the singles.
“I would say this one hurts more than others being at a Grand Slam and wanting to play well,” said Norrie, who reached the Wimbledon semi-finals last year.
“Hopefully it gives me more fuel and I’ll get ready for the next Grand Slam [at Wimbledon].
“There are no excuses to play the level that I did today. I missed so many easy-shot balls, and, yeah, I lost so many points within a couple of shots where usually I can win a lot of those ones.”
Defeat ended the possibility of Norrie facing top seed Carlos Alcaraz in the fourth round, with Musetti advancing to play the 20-year-old after the Spaniard beat Canadian 26th seed Denis Shapovalov.
Norrie plan to peak in Paris doesn’t come off
When Norrie decided to go to South America after this year’s Australian Open, the purpose of the trip was to spend more time on the clay with the ultimate goal of peaking for the French Open.
The immediate benefits were clear. The left-hander reached the final in Buenos Aires, where he lost to then world number two Alcaraz, then avenged that defeat by beating the Spaniard a week later to win the Rio de Janeiro title.
However, Norrie has not been able to replicate the same level of success on the European clay-court swing.
Now it has ended with one of the heaviest Grand Slam defeats of his career.
“There was a reason why I went to South America, so not to play well from the beginning in Monte Carlo and come in with a lot of energy is disappointing,” said Norrie.
“I’m pretty disappointed with the performance, especially having such big goals to play well at Grand Slams and go deeper.
“I have the chances, the draws. I think it’s a good match-up for me today, and I didn’t take advantage of it.”
Six wins in 11 matches – including a defeat by 21-year-old Musetti in Barcelona – meant he entered Roland Garros in far from peak form and he needed to dig deep in his opening match against France’s Benoit Paire.
A similarly partisan atmosphere awaited the Briton in the second round, but he stifled home hope Lucas Pouille – and the French fans – with a dominant start.
Before playing Musetti, Norrie spoke about the importance of getting on top early again.
Instead, he lost his opening service game of the match, and was broken again in the sixth game, as Musetti wrapped up the first set in 34 minutes.
Pushed back by Musetti’s groundstrokes and disrupted by his variety, errors continued to flow from Norrie’s racquet in the second set and he was broken twice more as he lost the final five games.
After losing serve in the opening game of the third set, Norrie’s level improved and led to the conversion of his first break point for 3-3.
Two more break points came his way in the eighth game for a 5-3 lead, but he could not take them and lost serve again in the following game when Musetti took the sixth of his 18 break points in the match.
From that point, there was only going to be one outcome and Musetti served out a victory which demonstrated his quality.