Golden opportunity for Aussies in French Open qualifying
Australia’s main draw contingent at Roland Garros could be bolstered by a few more names, with five Aussies gaining acceptance into the qualifying draws.
Australia’s six-strong contingent in the men’s and women’s main draws at Roland Garros could be bolstered by a few more names, with five Aussies gaining acceptance into the qualifying draws.
Olivia Rogowska (currently world No.120), Jelena Dokic (No.123) and Isabella Holland (No.224) will take their place in the 96-strong women’s qualifying field, while Marinko Matosevic (No.105) and James Duckworth (No.168) will fly the Aussie flag in the men’s draw.
They will each have to win three matches if they hope to qualify for the main draw in Paris – a tough proposition – but many will be confident in their chances to do so, none more than Matosevic.
The Victorian began the year ranked outside the world’s top 200, vaulted to a career high ranking this week on the back of his run to the quarterfinals in Munich, also as a qualifier.
It was his first ever ATP event on clay, and the five match wins he registered there will put him in a good frame of mind heading into the only major of the year played on the red dirt.
Duckworth has also been showing an aptitude for clay, sliding his way around the baseline at Challenger events in South America and enjoying some impressive results.
A quarterfinal finish in Blumenau, Brazil followed by a semifinal appearance in Sao Paulo just over a week ago have helped the young Aussie reach a career high of No.168, a jump of more than 100 places since the start of the year.
Rogowska, like Duckworth, is a young improving talent, having jumped around 60 places from No.178 at the end of 2011.
Rogowska acquitted herself well in her Fed Cup debut for Australia on the red clay of Stuttgart against Germany, and with a French Open second round main draw appearance already under her belt, will be hoping to build on that experience at Roland Garros in 2012.
Things have been tougher for Dokic and Holland, with the former battling a continuing wrist injury and the latter struggling to find form on the ITF circuit.
Some confidence-boosting wins in the French Open qualifying draw could be the tonic both women need to get their 2012 seasons back on track.
Australia’s main draw representation at Roland Garros will soon be boosted when a pair of reciprocal wildcards – one each for an Australian male and female player – are awarded.
The French Open will kick off in Paris on 27 May.