PARIS -- No.86 Camila Osorio came from a set down to defeat Ana Bogdan 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the first round of Roland Garros. Osorio will face No.28 seed Elise Mertens in the second round.
Standing alone, that result may not have made a ripple on the tennis newswire. But Osorio's path saw her go from being a heavy favorite to make the main draw via qualifying, to being a statistical longshot in the blink of an eye.
As she says, it's a miracle.
Here's how it happened:
On the day of the entry deadline for Roland Garros, Osorio was ranked No.115 and in the midst of an injury layoff. As a result, she was relegated to earning her main-draw spot via qualifying. Thanks to strong performances in Madrid and Rome, Osorio went into Paris qualifying ranked No.86 and the No.1 seed.
Dealt a tough draw, Osorio lost in the final round of qualifying to Mirra Andreeva.
At the conclusion of qualifying, four players withdrew from the main draw to make space for four "lucky losers," tennis' artful term for players who lose in the final round of qualifying but earn a main-draw spot due to another player's withdrawal.
How those lucky loser spots are doled out differs at Grand Slams and the Hologic WTA Tour. At the Slams, lucky losers are selected based on a random draw among the four highest-ranked players who lose in the last round of qualifying. However, if there are more than two lucky loser spots available, the number of players put into the random draw is the number of withdrawals, plus two. This ensures a player does not go into the final round of qualifying assured of a lucky loser spot.
That was the situation for Osario in Paris.
The four lucky losers were determined by a draw between the six highest-ranked players who lost at the last hurdle. Osorio, who was the top seed, got the most unlucky of draws. With four open spots, she landed in the sixth position. Not only did the Colombian lose the four lucky loser positions to players ranked below her, but she would need two subsequent withdrawals to get in.
"When the draw was out, I was, like, 'OK, this cannot happen to me,'" Osorio said. "That's what I thought at the beginning. This is impossible. I was, like, 'Why? This is unfair and all of that.'
"The day after I was more calm. You lost, try to accept that. That's it."
Osorio was doing everything she could to not wallow in her bad luck. As main-draw play began on Day 1 on Sunday, she played table tennis with her coach as a distraction. In the afternoon, she headed to Court 12 to support her countryman Daniel Elahi Galan as he played his opening match.
Then her phone rang.
"When they called me to the office to let me know that I was in, I just started crying again, just because I was really happy.
"It was a roller coaster. Now that I'm here, I am thankful. I believe in God, so it was like a miracle for me. Thankful to have the chance and this opportunity to be playing in a Slam."
Maybe Osorio's string of bad luck is turning around. After taking a month and a half off in March to heal up her injuries, Osorio returned with a splash in April. In Madrid, she advanced to the third round and pushed eventual champion Aryna Sabalenka in two tough sets. In Rome, she came through qualifying before earning her first Top 5 win, over Caroline Garcia, to advance to the Round of 16 of a WTA 1000 for the first time.
"I'm feeling that I'm playing great tennis," Osorio said. "Every time I step on court, I have this confidence that I could play anybody. It doesn't matter if winning or losing, I still have a lot of things to learn and to improve, but I'm just happy.
"When I'm losing, I don't tell myself off so much. That's also good because you're going to lose so many times in tennis. That's normal. But for me I don't think it's so serious, and I just try to stay positive and see all the good things that I've been doing and that I need to work on and improve."