Melbourne, 17 May 2011 |

Tennis fans around Australia are preparing for sleepless nights as the world’s best players head to Paris for next week’s French Open.

Australia will be represented by seven players in the main draw at Roland Garros, including world No.8 and last year’s finalist Sam Stosur (Qld) and Jarmila Gajdosova (Vic), who hit a career high ranking of 25 this week. Anastasia Rodionova (Vic) and Jelena Dokic round out the women’s main draw entries, and No.64 Lleyton Hewitt (SA) returns to the tour after foot surgery.

Casey Dellacqua (WA) and Bernard Tomic (Qld) have been awarded wildcards.

Dellacqua’s comeback, after nearly a year out of the game, gained momentum overnight with a three-set win over No.5 seed Shahar Peer in Brussels, her sixth Top 20 win and her first since defeating Patti Schnyder at Wimbldeon in 2008. Tomic is one of only three teenagers ranked in the ATP top 200.

The men’s qualifying draw has been released, with three of the Aussie contingent meeting French players bound to have the home crowd behind them.  Carsten Ball faces No.13 seed Eric Prodon, Marinko Matosevic (Vic) meets Josselyn Ouanna and James Lemke (Vic) is up against wildcard Romain Jouan.

Peter Luczak (Vic) will have his work cut out against 23-year old Spaniard and No.16 seed Albert Ramos (ESP) and Chris Guccione (Vic) has drawn No.8 seed Thomas Schoorel (NED).

Sophie Ferguson (NSW), Sally Peers (Vic) and Olivia Rogowska (Vic) will compete in women’s qualifying later this week.

Currently No.7 in ITF Junior world rankings, Andrew Whittington (Vic) has claimed two ITF Junior titles in his impressive start to the year. Joining him at Roland Garros is 2011 Australian Open Juniors runner up Luke Saville (SA) and fellow AIS Pro Tour athletes Sean Berman (Vic), Australian Open Junior finalist in 2010, and Ben Wagland (NSW). Fifteen-year old Ashleigh Barty (Qld) will make her French Open Juniors debut.

World No.2 Daniela Di Toro (Vic) will fly the Australian flag in the wheelchair championships, and will be hoping to improve upon her semifinals appearance in 2010.

As the nation’s top-ranked 12 year-old, Chase Ferguson (Vic) has been selected to represent Australia at the Longines Future Tennis Aces tournament during the second week of Roland Garros. Chase will compete alongside sixteen juniors from around the world for the chance to hit with former champion Andre Agassi.

Key dates:

Qualifying: Tuesday 17 May to Friday 20 May

Main Draw: Sunday 22 May to Sunday 5 June

Juniors: Sunday May 29 to Saturday 4 June