Aussies win big amid ‘brutal’ Roland-Garros snubs

Aussies win big amid ‘brutal’ Roland-Garros snubs

Australian tennis stars Ajla Tomljanovic and Adam Walton have received wildcard entries to the Roland-Garros main draw.

They were among eight wildcards awarded on each side. Among those overlooked, though, included 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu, the retiring Dominic Thiem, and Caroline Wozniacki.

Roland-Garros 2018 champion Simona Halep, on the comeback trail from a doping ban, was also overlooked. It was to be her first grand slam appearance since testing positive to roxadustat at the 2022 US Open.

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In March she was found not totally at-fault for her positive test and cleared for an immediate return to tennis.

Those overlooked for wildcards will now have to go through qualifiers to make the main draw.

Sidelined through injury since February, Tomljanovic on her comeback made it through qualifiers into the main draw of the clay WTA125 event in Parma, Italy on Monday.

Her best Roland-Garros showing was a fourth-round appearance in 2014. She has two wins against top-five seeds at the event, including No.5 Anett Kontaveit in the first round in her last appearance there in 2022.

“I’m excited to be back playing and so grateful to have the opportunity to play Roland-Garros. I’m looking forward to getting out there and doing my best,” Tomljanovic said.

It will be the 25-year-old Walton’s debut at the clay major. He has won 14 of his last 18 matches and sits at a career-high world No.111.

French veterans Alizé Cornet and Richard Gasquet were among those to receive wildcards.

The 34-year-old Cornet recently said she would be retiring after playing one last time at Roland-Garros. This will be Cornet’s 20th consecutive appearance at the French Open, where she made her grand slam debut in 2005. She twice has reached the fourth round there.

Tomljanovic and Walton received their wildcards through an agreement with the United States Tennis Association and Tennis Australia.

Tomljanovic and Daria Saville are the only Aussies on the women’s main draw, while Walton will join Alex de Minaur, Jordan Thompson, Alexei Popyrin, Chris O’Connell, Aleksandar Vukic, Rinky Hijikata, Max Purcell and Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Thirteen Aussies – five men and eight women – will be in action when qualifying begins on Monday night (AEST).

Main draw action begins on May 26.

– With AP

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