PARIS, France - Roland Garros has announced seven of the eight main draw wildcards to be distributed for the second Grand Slam of the year, with Istanbul champion Pauline Parmentier leading the pack.
World No.76 Parmentier, who revived her career and returned to the Top 100 with a third title in the Turkish capital last month, will play her 14th consecutive Roland Garros main draw, having made her debut in 2005. The 32-year-old's best showing came in 2014 when she made the fourth round.
The remaining wildcards are dominated by local players, with six of the seven highest-ranked Frenchwomen outside the main draw cut getting boosts: as well as Parmentier, these golden opportunities have gone to World No.202 Amandine Hesse, World No.215 Myrtille Georges, World No.228 Jessika Ponchet, World No.261 Chloe Paquet and World No.262 Fiona Ferro.
23-year-old Paquet was the only wildcard to win a round at last year's tournament, beating Kristyna Pliskova in three sets, and reached the final of the ITF $25,000 event in Tunis last month, losing to Valentyna Ivakhnenko. 27-year-old Georges has made two ITF $25,000 finals this year, in Perth and Santa Margherita di Pula, and reached the second round at Roland Garros in 2016.
Former Top 30 junior Fiona Ferro has also had success on the ITF circuit this year; the 21-year-old took the title in Grenoble in February and followed it up with a final in Curitiba two weeks later.
The main draw wildcards are rounded out by two reciprocal handouts with the US and Australian Opens. The former has been awarded to World No.71 Taylor Townsend, who gained the most points out of any American player over four ITF events in Indian Harbour Beach, Dothan, Charlottesville and Charleston. The 22-year-old compiled a 16-2 record, capturing the trophies in Dothan and Charleston, raising her ranking to a career high.
The Australian wildcard is yet to be assigned, and will be determined via an eight-woman play-off in Paris this weekend between Destanee Aiava, Lizette Cabrera, last year's winner Jaimee Fourlis, Priscilla Hon, Olivia Rogowska, Ellen Perez, Isabelle Wallace and Kimberly Birrell.
Qualifying wildcards have also been distributed, all to local players: Audrey Albié, Tessah Andrianjafitrimo, Manon Arcangioli, Australian Open girls' runner-up Clara Burel, Sara Cakarevic, Diane Parry, Harmony Tan and Margot Yerolymos.