Paris, France, 28 May 2024 | Leigh Rogers

A year after recording a milestone first Grand Slam singles main-draw win at Roland Garros, Max Purcell came incredibly close to notching another impressive first in Paris.

The 26-year-old Australian almost fought back from a two-sets-to-love deficit for the first time in his career, before ultimately falling to German qualifier Henri Squire in heartbreaking fashion.

World No.221 Squire saved six match points before closing out a dramatic 6-2 6-2 3-6 4-6 7-6(10) victory, in a see-sawing three-hour and 21-minute encounter impacted by multiple rain delays.

Purcell held four match points on his serve in the 10th game of a tense deciding set, before earning another on serve again in the 12th game. His sixth opportunity came in the match tiebreak.

However, the 23-year-old Squire, a Grand Slam debutant, eventually converted on his third match point.

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

“I’m proud of the way that I fought. I should have walked off with the spoils, but that’s tennis.”

Purcell and Thompson have been one of the world’s best-performing doubles team this season, claiming three ATP titles and winning 17 of their 20 matches together.

Daria Saville was also left feeling frustrated after her singles campaign came to end against world No.15 Jasmine Paolini.

The Italian scored a 6-3 6-4 first-round victory against the Australian No.1.

“I felt like the whole match was actually a lot closer than maybe the scoreline suggested, with a lot of deuce games,” world No.84 Saville said after their 92-minute encounter.

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

Saville’s service performance ultimately impacted her chances. She only won 43 per cent of first-serve points and did not hold a service game until the second set.

“Obviously, I’m not happy with the way I served, I gave her a lot of free points,” Saville conceded.

“It cost me, especially in the first set.”

The 30-year-old Saville now turns her attention to the women’s doubles competition, where she is teaming up with fellow Aussie Ajla Tomljanovic.

Aussies in action – Roland Garros

Men’s singles, first round
[Q] Henri Squire (GER) d Max Purcell (AUS) 6-2 6-2 3-6 4-6 7-6(10)

Women’s singles, first round
[12] Jasmine Paolini (ITA) d Daria Saville (AUS) 6-3 6-4

Men’s singles, first round
[11] Alex de Minaur (AUS) v Alex Michelsen (USA)
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) v Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)
Rinky Hijikata (AUS) v Luciano Darderi (ITA)
[WC] Adam Walton (AUS) v Arthur Rinderknech (FRA)

VIEW: Roland Garros 2024 men’s singles draw

Women’s doubles, first round
[2] Ellen Perez (AUS)/Nicole Melichar-Martinez (USA) v Ingrid Gamarra Martins (BRA)/Olivia Nicholls (GBR)
Daria Saville (AUS)/Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) v [16] Miyu Kato (JPN)/Nadiia Kichenok (UKR)

Men’s doubles, first round
[2] Matt Ebden (AUS)/Rohan Bopanna (IND) v Marton Fuscovics (HUN)/Emil Ruusuvuori (FIN)
Max Purcell (AUS)/Jordan Thompson (AUS) v Tallon Griekspoor (NED)/Bart Stevens (NED)
John-Patrick Smith (AUS)/Denys Molchanov (UKR) v Petros Tsitsipas (GRE)/Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE)
Rinky Hijikata (AUS)/Guido Andreozzi (ARG) v Nicolas Barrientos (COL)/Francisco Cabral (POR)
John Peers (AUS)/Roman Safiullin v Yuki Bhambri (IND)/Albano Olivetti (FRA)
Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)/Denis Shapovalov (CAN) v [14] Nathaniel Lammons (USA)/Jackson Withrow (USA)

Mixed doubles, first round
[1] Ellen Perez (AUS)/Matt Ebden (AUS) v [WC] Tessah Andrianjafitrimo (FRA)/Ugo Humbert (FRA)
Nicole Melichar-Martinez (USA)/John Peers (AUS) v [5] Vera Zvonareva/Sander Gille (BEL)

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