Emma Raducanu overlooked for French Open wildcard and may have to qualify

Emma Raducanu overlooked for French Open wildcard and may have to qualify

Emma Raducanu will likely have to drop down to play in the French Open qualifying draw next week if she wants to compete in the tournament after she was declined a main draw wildcard to the second grand slam tournament of the year, which begins on 26 May.

The French Tennis Federation (FFT) released its list of wildcards for the 2024 tournament on Tuesday, opting to reserve its wildcards solely for local French players and its reciprocal wildcard agreements with the Australia and French Open.

Although currently ranked No 212 as she continues her comeback from an eight-month layoff following three surgeries last year, Raducanu has entered the tournament with her protected ranking of 103. She is currently four places outside the French Open main draw, meaning she needs four players ranked higher than her on the entry list to pull out before the qualifying draw is conducted at the end of this week.

Raducanu has not competed since losing in the opening round of the Madrid Open last month. Her clay court season had started extremely well, leading Great Britain to a significant win over France in the Billie Jean King Cup before reaching the quarter-finals of the Stuttgart Open.

After just two weeks of competition, though, Raducanu admitted that she was feeling fatigued following defeat to María Lourdes Carlé in Madrid. She has not competed since then; the Italian Open similarly chose to reserve its wildcards for local players and Raducanu has declined to drop down and compete in the WTA 125 events hosted in the second week of Madrid and Rome, which could have provided further opportunities to gain more matches, confidence and ranking points.

Raducanu had been scheduled to compete in the Strasbourg WTA 500 next week, during the French Open qualifying draw, but she withdrew shortly before the French Open announced its wildcard recipients, an indication that she still intends to play in Paris.

The French Tennis Federation’s decision to reserve its wildcards solely for local players and its reciprocal deals with other grand slam federations has consequences beyond Raducanu’s omission. With numerous high-profile comebacks and farewells, a number of prominent players will miss out.

Dominic Thiem plays a shotView image in fullscreen

Dominic Thiem, a two-time French Open finalist and former US Open champion, announced last week that this season will be his last after his career was derailed by a serious wrist injury. Although his final appearance at the French Open would have been a significant moment, he is in a similar position to Raducanu, just a few places out of the main draw. In order to say a proper farewell in Paris, he will also likely have to come through the qualifying draw.

Other omissions include Caroline Wozniacki, who is still yet to return to the top 100 nine months after her comeback. Simona Halep, meanwhile, will not be present in Paris. After withdrawing from Madrid due to physical issues, where she did receive a wildcard, the Romanian has not competed since returning from her reduced anti-doping ban at the Miami Open in March.

Medvedev exits Italian Open after Paul defeat

Daniil Medvedev saw his title defence at the Italian Open ended by the American Tommy Paul. Paul, the world No 16, did not look back after breaking Medvedev in his first three service games to prevail 6-1 6-4 in one hour and 13 minutes and reach the quarter-finals of the clay-court, event.

The world No 4’s defeat left the third seed, Alexander Zverev, No 5 in the world, as the highest-ranked player left in the event. The German beat Nuno Borges 6-2, 7-5.

Meanwhile, Alejandro Tabilo, the surprise conqueror of Novak Djokovic, continued his fine run with a 7-6 (5), 7-6 (10) win over the 16th seed, Karen Khachanov, while the sixth seed, Stefanos Tsitsipas, eased into the last eight with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Alex De Minaur.

The two-time champion Iga Swiatek eased into the semi-finals of the women’s draw with a 6-1, 6-3 win over the 18th seed, Madison Keys, and will play either the American third seed, Coco Gauff, or China’s Zheng Qinwen. Reuters