Will Emma Raducanu pull out of French Open qualifying? Here is what we know

Will Emma Raducanu pull out of French Open qualifying? Here is what we know

Emma Raducanu is scheduled to play in a Grand Slam qualifying competition for the first time since her iconic 2021 US Open win next week as she is on the list to compete for a place in the main draw at the French Open next week.

On paper, this would appear to be a good opportunity for the 21-year-old Brit to get some time on court after an understandably inconsistent start to the year as she makes her way back from serious injuries that required surgery last year.

Raducanu’s ranking is not high enough to get her into the Roland Garros main draw and she has not been given a wild card, so playing in qualifying looks set to be her only option.

Yet the lack of social media footage of Raducanu practising on clay courts in recent days has fueled rumours that she may be preparing to reboot her season when the British grass court season gets underway next month.

Here is a Tennis365 look at what could come next for Raducanu and why her participation in the French Open qualifying draw is not certain.


She has not mentioned the prospect of playing in qualifying at the French Open and there have been some rumours that she is undecided on whether to play in Paris.

Raducanu confirmed that she felt “exhausted” during a straight-sets defeat to Argentinian qualifier Maria Lourdes Carle in the first round of the Madrid Open last month, with the Brit beaten 6-2 6-2 in one hour and 26 minutes by an opponent ranked at No 82 in the world.

After the match, Raducanu said she was “tired” coming into the Madrid Open and she blamed the fatigue for her early exit on the clay.

“I would say the last few weeks have been a lot,” she said. “I think from the performance today it was very clear that mentally and emotionally I was exhausted.

“I was trying to push through and I was just unable to push through today. I guess the sport is just pretty brutal.”

We would have expected to see images on her Instagram account of her hitting balls at the LTA’s National Tennis Centre as she prepares to fly down to France for qualifying next week, but her recent posts have all been focused on food and her new sponsorship launch with Evian.


How would Raducanu’s sponsors react if she played in French Open qualifying and lost early?

That should not be a question that needs to be answered as her focus should always be on the tennis court and lifting her ranking to a point that ensures she doesn’t need to play in qualifying to get into future Grand Slam events.

Yet Raducani is a unique tennis player in so many ways, as she is the only player in recent history to be ranked outside the top 200 in the world rankings who boasts lucrative sponsorship deals with a long list of elite companies.

Some of those deals may be due to expire in the coming months as the third anniversary of her US Open win will arrive in September and there may be some consideration over what would be best for her career on and off the court when her French Open decision is made.

READ MORE: Emma Raducanu faces an uncertain future as negative ‘keyboard warriors’ wait for her demise


Raducanu could get ahead of her rivals by skipping the French Open and focusing her sights on the British grass court season.

She would not have any concerns about getting wild cards for these tournaments in front of her home fans and in 2022, she entered the Nottingham Open in the second week of June.

Raducanu would have the option of playing at the Birmingham Classic and the Eastbourne International before the wild card she is likely to need to enter Wimbledon will come her way at the start of July.

If she did well on grass courts, Raducanu could get her ranking to climb high enough to get her close to a return to the top 100 of the WTA Rankings, ending her current issues over entering into big tournaments.


British Billie Jean King Cup captain Anne Keothavong told Sky Sports tennis: “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 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?”

Broadcaster Marcus Buckland told Tennis365: “It feels like she is moving in the right direction again, but I honestly don’t know what to expect. “She put together a string of great performances and then we saw a frustrating defeat at the Madrid Open and we haven’t seen her since.

“It will be really interesting to see how she deals with the spotlight that will inevitably fall on her when the grass court season comes around in Britain.

“I feel she is dealing with it well now and we all have to remember what a brutal sport tennis is.

“You could be playing really well, get a tough draw against a top ten player and you can lose.

“I just hope that she is allowed to continue to develop without too much negative attention directed towards her.”


Raducanu should go to Paris and play in French Open qualifying, but the easier option may be to wait for a return to grass courts next month.

If she loses early in Roland Garros qualifying, it would do little for confidence after what has been a largely positive return to action in 2024. It would also see a fresh batch of negative publicity pour down on her.

The alternative plan would see Raducanu get a three-week training block in on grass and that might give her the best chance to shine in front of her home fans.

Runs to the latter stages in Nottingham, Birmingham and Eastbourne could set Raducanu up for a strong performance at Wimbledon, where her best run came in 2021 when she reached the fourth round.

This story could change if players pull out of the French Open in the next few days as Raducanu only ness five withdrawals to get into the main draw in Paris, with the final decision on her appearance in qualifying needing to be made by this weekend.

Related Articles