Paris, France, 28 May 2021 | Leigh Rogers

Storm Sanders’ incredible year of firsts continues, with the 26-year-old qualifying for a major tournament for the first time in her career.

The 26-year-old Australian, whose season highlights already include setting a career-high singles ranking and reaching a first WTA-level quarterfinal, earned her place in the Roland Garros main draw with a 7-5 7-5 win against Switzerland’s Susan Bandecchi in Paris today.

It was a steely performance from the world No.161, who fought back from early deficits in each set during the 108-minute battle. Sanders finished the match with 34 winners.

Sanders joins fellow Australians Ash Barty, Ajla Tomljanovic and Astra Sharma in the main draw.

It will be Sanders’ fourth main draw singles appearance at a Grand Slam – and a first since Australian Open 2016.

It’s a remarkable rise for Sanders, who only a few years ago decided to focus primarily on doubles. Since returning to singles in October 2019, the left-hander has produced the best tennis of her career and proved why you should never give up on a dream.

Sanders will face No.14 seed Elise Mertens of Belgium in the opening round.

Aussies in action – Roland Garros

Women’s singles qualifying, final round
Storm Sanders (AUS)
d Susan Bandecchi (SUI) 7-5 7-5

Women’s singles, first round
[1] Ash Barty (AUS) v Bernarda Pera (USA)
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) v Kateryna Kozlova (UKR)
[WC] Astra Sharma (AUS) v [Q] Irina Bara (ROU)
[Q] Storm Sanders (AUS) v [14] Elise Mertens (BEL)

> VIEW: Full Roland Garros women’s singles draw

Men’s singles, first round
[21] Alex de Minaur (AUS) v Stefano Travaglia (ITA)
John Millman (AUS) v Gianluca Mager (ITA)
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) v [3] Rafael Nadal (ESP)
Jordan Thompson (AUS) v Jaume Munar (ESP)
James Duckworth (AUS) v Salvatore Caruso (ITA)
[WC] Chris O’Connell (AUS) v Tommy Paul (USA)

> VIEW: Full Roland Garros men’s singles draw