Emma Raducanu makes bold French Open move, but she could still play at Roland Garros

Emma Raducanu makes bold French Open move, but she could still play at Roland Garros

Emma Raducanu won’t compete in the French Open qualifying tournament with organisers confirming that she has withdrawn from the event.

After missing out on a main draw place through her special ranking of 103, Raducanu was also overlooked for a wildcard by the French Tennis Federation as she was pushed into the qualifying draw.

The 21-year-old appeared to be set for the qualifying event, which runs from March 20-24, as she withdrew from the Internationaux de Strasbourg event that is running concurrently.

However, the 2021 US Open champion pulled out of the event on Sunday morning just hours before the draw was due to take place.

But all is not lost for Raducanu as she could still feature in the main draw at Roland Garros as she currently finds herself third on the alternates list.

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Sara Errani and Arina Rodinova are the two players ahead of Brit, but there could still be several withdrawals before the tournament officially gets underway on May 26.

Raducanu – who missed last year’s French Open due to injury – hasn’t played competitive tennis since going down 6-2, 6-2 against qualifier Maria Lourdes Carle in the first round of the Madrid Open.

So what are her options if she fails to make it into the main draw in Paris?

Raducanu could drop down to the WTA 125 circuit to get some matches under her belt over the next week or so, but most of the events are on clay and it would not help her grass-court preparations.

Her other option is to return to the practice courts and wait for the grass campaign to get underway on June 10 with the Nottingham Open the first major WTA Tour event on the British calendar.

Although she has dropped to No 212 in the WTA Rankings, she will have no problem receiving wildcards for the British events.

Following her Madrid Open exit, Raducanu complained of tiredness and a break until the grass campaign could do her well, but her Billie Jean King Cup captain Anne Keothavong raised questions about her comments.

“It’s a number of weeks between now and the first grass-court event. That’s a long training block and she’s already had eight months off on the sidelines,” she told Sky Sports Tennis.

“She has said and proven she gets confidence from the hours she puts in on the practice court.

“We talk a lot about head, heart and legs, and if your head and your heart aren’t in it, your legs don’t stand a chance.

“It was really disappointing to see. She said she was tired, but do you talk yourself into more tiredness?”

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