16 qualifiers (and three lucky losers) grabbed spots in the 2022 Roland Garros main draw over the past two days, as the final round of qualifying was settled on Thursday and Friday.
One of the big names to clinch a main-draw appearance was former Top 20 player Donna Vekic of Croatia. Vekic overcame Anastasia Gasanova 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 in the final round on Thursday.
Vekic has been ranked as high as No.19 and has reached the Round of 16 at all four majors, with her career-best Grand Slam result being the 2019 US Open quarterfinals.
But the 25-year-old missed over three months of play last year between the Australian Open and Roland Garros after undergoing knee surgery, and Vekic's ranking dipped. This was the first time Vekic has had to contest Grand Slam qualifying since the 2016 US Open.
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Vekic persevered through tough matches this week, coming back from a late break down in the third set against Louisa Chirico in the second round, then prevailing over Gasanova in 2 hours and 47 minutes.
Upset-minded Gasanova has a Top 10 win over Karolina Pliskova on her resume, but Vekic ended any hopes of another shocker, firing 41 winners to pull off a come-from-behind win.
Main draw #RolandGarros singles with qualifiers placed. pic.twitter.com/rQ3Xjr06dz— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) May 20, 2022
Thursday was a great day for the highest-seeded players who were still alive in the final round of qualifying: No.2 Jule Niemeier, No.3 Zhu Lin, and No.5 Irina Bara all booked their main-draw appearances with straight-sets wins.
Czech 17-year-old Linda Noskova also successfully completed her first Grand Slam qualifying campaign on Thursday. Last year's Junior Roland Garros champion Noskova is into the main draw just one year later after beating Rebecca Sramkova 6-3, 6-2 in 57 minutes.
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Noskova's Grand Slam main-draw debut will be notable indeed: she will meet No.12 seed Emma Raducanu, the reigning US Open champion, in the first round.
First into the main draw 👏— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) May 19, 2022
Reigning girls' singles champion Linda Noskova flies past Rebecca Sramkova 6-3, 6-2 #RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/GBUDGHYzMR
Among Friday's big winners was No.14 seed Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine, who saved a match point before overcoming Japan's Yuki Naito 2-6, 7-6(0), 6-2 in 2 hours and 9 minutes.
Former Top 25 player Tsurenko has struggled with injuries throughout her career and failed to qualify for any Grand Slams in 2021, but the 32-year-old is back on track into the majors. She has successfully qualified at both the Australian Open and here this year.
Tsurenko's run nearly ended in the final qualifying round, where 21-year-old Naito held her match point at 6-5 in the second set. But Tsurenko eked out a service hold, then blanked Naito in the subsequent tiebreak. Tsurenko eased through the third set to reach the main draw.
Unfortunately for Tsurenko, she will face the No.1 seed in the first round at each of this year's first two majors. Tsurenko lost 6-0, 6-1 to then-World No.1 and eventual champion Ashleigh Barty in the first round of the 2022 Australian Open. Here in Paris, she drew No.1 Iga Swiatek in her opener.
Maiden RG main draw 💯— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) May 20, 2022
21-year-old Olga Danilovic battles past Viktoriya Tomova 6-2, 1-6, 7-6(3) to claim a coveted spot in the fortnight for the first time#RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/GaJaD4MAdW
Serbia's Olga Danilovic also triumphed in a tough tussle on Friday to make the main draw, edging No.10 seed Viktoriya Tomova 6-2, 1-6, 7-6(3) in just over 2 hours.
Danilovic, who won a Hologic WTA Tour singles title at the 2018 Moscow River Cup as a 17-year-old, dominated the decisive 10-point tiebreak to topple Tomova and reach the French Open main draw for the first time.
The silver lining for Tomova is that she has also made the main draw as a lucky loser.
First Slam main draw feeling 🥳— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) May 20, 2022
Congratulations, Fernanda Contreras Gomez 🇲🇽#RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/9NR035Wa6v
The other main-draw qualifiers are: Rebecca Marino, Aleksandra Krunic, Fernanda Contreras Gomez, Hailey Baptiste, Ysaline Bonaventure, Cristina Bucsa, Oksana Selekhmeteva, Mirjam Bjorklund, and Valentini Grammatikopoulou.
The three lucky losers, who also receive main-draw spots, are Tomova, Reka Luca Jani, and former Top 20 player Mihaela Buzarnescu.