Paris | Raducanu misses out on wild-card, pulls out of qualies and gambles on direct entry

Emma Raducanu withdrew from Roland Garros qualifying, which begins on Monday, with the former US Open champion pulling out mere hours before the draw was set to take place in Paris, fuelling speculation that she has decided not play the French Open, or is holding out for enough withdrawals to guarantee a main draw spot.

Raducanu was slated to play in the WTA 500 tournament in Strasbourg, but she pulled out of that too, possibly signalling her intent to shift her focus French Open qualifying.

Following the withdrawal of Julia Grabher, though, the 20-year-old Briton is now 3rd on the alternates list, with Sara Errani and Arina Rodionova ahead of her, and with some other players doubtful, including Jessica Pegula and Britain’s Jodie Burrage, Raducanu could well gain direct entry into the main draw.

Raducanu has been in Paris practising over this past week on the courts of Roland Garros, but has not played a match since the Madrid Open last month, where she lost to Maria Lourdes Carle rather easily.

Currently ranked at No 212 in the world, Raducanu has a protected ranking of No 103 to use after returning to the tour earlier this year following 3 successful surgeries, but this was not enough for her to make the French Open cut-off, and the 2021 US Open champion needed a wild-card or a couple of player withdrawals to make the main draw directly.

Alizé Cornet, who retires after Roland Garros, received a wild-card into the main draw in Paris, which starts next Sunday

© Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

On Tuesday, organisers published their list of wild-cards, and, somewhat controversially, several high-profile comeback names were missing, including Caroline Wozniacki, Simona Halep and Venus Williams as well as Raducanu, all of whom are Grand Slam champions.

Wozniacki, the 2018 Australian Open champion, is a two-time quarter-finalist in Paris, and returned to the sport after a three-year retirement in August.

Halep, who returned in March to competition after a reduction in her doping suspension, won the 2018 French Open, in addition to Wimbledon in 2019.

Seven-time Grand Slam champion Williams, who hasn’t played at the event since 2021, is a former finalist at Roland Garros.

Raducanu, who became the first qualifier in Open era history to win a major at the 2021 US Open, advanced to the 2nd-round at Roland Garros in her lone appearance at the tournament in 2022.

The FFT has instead opted to reserve its wild-cards solely for local French players and its reciprocal wild-card agreements with the Australia and French Open.

Among those who did receive wild-cards for entry are French players Alizé Cornet, the former World No 11 who announced she would be retiring at the tournament’s conclusion, Fiona Ferro, Elsa Jacquemot, Kristina Mladenovic, Chloé Paquet and Jessica Ponchet, plus America’s Sachia Vickery and Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic, who received their invitations through reciprocal agreements between the FFT and the USTA and Tennis Australia.

Sara Errani, a former finalist at Roland Garros, is the No 1 seed in qualifying this year

© Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Meanwhile, on Sunday, the draws for both the women’s and men’s qualifying were released with a host of enticing match-ups in the coming week in Paris.

Former Paris finalist Sara Errani headlines the women’s 128-player draw as the No 1 seed, while retiring two-time finalist Dominic Thiem leads the men’s.

Czech sisters Brenda and Linda Fruhvirtova are among the 16 looking to make it through 3 rounds of qualifying into the main draw.

British interest lies with Lily Miyazaki and Heather Watson who open against Wei Siiia from China and Croatia’s Antonia Ruzic respectively.

The French Open main draw gets underway on Sunday, 26 May, in Paris, where Iga Swiatek and Novak Djokovic are the defending champions.

Retiring Dominic Thiem, who reached the final twice in Paris, leads the men's field in qualifying

© William West/AFP via Getty Images
The women’s qualifying draw can be found HERE while the men’s qualifying draw can be found HERE



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