PARIS, France -- 24 players moved into the final round of qualifying at Roland Garros on Thursday, setting the stage for 12 athletes to book their spots in the main draw of the year's second Grand Slam event.
Bernarda Pera continues to make it through the field as she seeks to uphold her No.1 seeding. The American, who won a Challenger event in Trnava, Slovakia last week to push her ranking up to World No.83 and garner the top seeding, won a second straight-set match over China's Zhang Kai-lin, 6-4, 6-4.
Pera queues up a final-round encounter with rapidly-improving 18-year-old Kaja Juvan of Slovenia. 21st-seeded Juvan earned her place in the final round of qualifying with a 6-3, 6-3 win over fellow teenager Cori Gauff, the 15-year-old reigning Roland Garros girls' singles champion.
Pera is the only one of the top 8 seeds to reach the final round of qualies. After No.2 seed Jil Teichmann and No.4 seed Stefanie Voegele fell in the first round, No.3 seed Timea Bacsinszky joined her fellow highly-seeded Swiss players on the sidelines after a loss on Thursday.
Bacsinszky, the former World No.9 and a two-time semifinalist at Roland Garros, had her run into the main draw halted by Kurumi Nara of Japan. Nara, a former World No.32 whose ranking has fallen outside of the Top 200, upset Bacsinszky 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, and will now face another Swiss player, Conny Perrin, in the final round.
No.5 seed Heather Watson of Great Britain also fell by the wayside on Thursday. The Brit ended up on the wrong side of a barnburner, losing to Greece's Valentini Grammatikopoulou, 7-5, 6-7(6), 7-6(3), after two hours and 44 minutes of play. Grammatikopoulou will meet 19th-seeded American Varvara Lepchenko in the final round, as she tries to join her compatriot Maria Sakkari in the main draw.
All was not lost for some of the seeded players projected to be the 12 qualifiers. No.10 seed Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic dispatched Japan's Ayano Shimizu, 6-2, 6-3, and No.12 seed Nao Hibino of Japan eased past Dutchwoman Richel Hogenkamp, 6-1, 6-2, to reach Friday's final round.
No.9 seed Anna Blinkova of Russia also kept her campaign going, with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 comeback victory over Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine. However, her 8th-seeded compatriot Natalia Vikhlyantseva was not as fortunate, as she too was an upset victim, losing to Belgium's Greet Minnen, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.
In a battle between Americans, Allie Kiick came back from a bagel opening-set to outlast No.11 seed and 2017 Roland Garros girls' singles champion Whitney Osuigwe, 0-6, 6-3, 6-1.
Additionally, comebacking Canadian Rebecca Marino, who won a Challenger title in Japan last week and was the final player to eke into the qualifying draw, saw her run come to a close after losing a tight tussle to No.22 seed Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan, 5-7, 7-6(4), 6-4.
View the entire Roland Garros qualifying draw on the official website HERE!