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Emma Raducanu Was Not Granted a Wild Card to the French Open

Emma Raducanu was not given a wild card into the main draw of the competition, so it looks like she will have to fight her way through qualification to compete in the French Open.

Although Raducanu’s protected position of No. 103 is not quite high enough to grant her direct entry into Roland Garros, a spate of late withdrawals from players ranked higher than her could yet provide her with a reprieve.

Raducanu appears to have already come to terms with the extra week of competition at Roland Garros, since she is also rumored to have withdrawn from the WTA event in Strasbourg next week. There was a chance that the two obligations would conflict with one another.

Raducanu is one of four prominent athletes who have been given a snub by the French Tennis Federation (FFT), or maybe we should call it a Gallic shrug.

Dominic Thiem, a two-time Roland Garros finalist who will retire at the end of the season due to a recurring wrist problem, will also compete in the qualifying round this coming week. The 30-year-old Thiem is a very well-liked player who would have won the French Open had his career not coincided with Rafael Nadal’s two-decade hegemony. This is possibly the most surprising decision.

Towards the end of the 2022 season, Simona Halep, a Romanian who won the championship, tested positive for the banned steroid Roxadustat. Since then, she has not played any tennis. After being cleared by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Halep—who is currently ranked outside of the top 1,000 in the world—played just one match this season and lost in three sets against Paula Badosa.

Last but not least, Caroline Wozniacki, the former world number one, is also returning from a maternity leave. Despite a recent great run to the Indian Wells quarterfinals, she is ranked No. 119. However, she did not qualify for Roland Garros and will not play in the tournament.

At the beginning of this clay-court season, Raducanu displayed some encouraging form of her own. She led Great Britain to triumph over France in their Billie Jean King Cup match, and in the Stuttgart quarterfinals, she forced world No. 1 Iga Swiatek to a tie-break.

However, hope for a string of victories was dashed when Raducanu lost to an unknown Argentine opponent in the opening round of the Madrid Open, winning just four games. She hasn’t performed since April 24, which was three weeks ago.

One way to describe the FFT’s stance on wild cards is “We’re alright, Jacques.” French players have claimed all 18 qualifying wild cards and, with them, 12 spots in the main draw.

As part of a swap agreement that permits an additional Frenchman and Frenchwoman to compete in the US Open and Australian Open, two more main-draw wild cards have been awarded to Americans and two to Australians.

As for the All England Club, they consider themselves too great for such insider trade, while the other three grand-slam countries might take care of themselves. Their position hasn’t helped Raducanu, who’s stuck just outside the top 200 in the world, in her efforts to move up the rankings.

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