Johanna Konta’s miserable run at the French Open continued as a straight-sets defeat to Yulia Putintseva saw the British No 1 exit at the first-round stage for the fourth successive year.
The 22nd seed was hoping to break her Roland Garros duck against the world No 93 on Sunday, but Putintseva prevailed 6-4 6-3 to extend Konta’s winless streak in the French capital.
Awaiting Putintseva in the second round is American Jennifer Brady, who breezed past Amandine Hesse 6-1 6-1, while Konta must overcome this now-familiar disappointment when preparing for the grass-court season.
Konta headed into the first-round encounter with a 2-0 record against her Kazakhstani opponent, having most recently beaten her at last year’s Italian Open.
But in a tight opening set on Court 1, it was Putintseva who looked the more threatening as Konta struggled to find her groove, and the Briton eventually relinquished her serve in the eighth game after already saving three break points.
Putintseva failed to serve it out at 5-3 as Konta broke back immediately, but a third-straight break followed to hand her opponent the first set.
It was then five successive service games dropped as the pair traded early breaks in the second set, and after Putintseva stopped the rot, she broke Konta again, following up her forehand winner with an exuberant celebration aimed towards the crowd.
With the wind in her sails, Putintseva saw out her remaining service games with relative ease to wrap up the match after one hour and 25 minutes on court.