Six players to watch out for at Roland Garros qualifying!

Thanasi Kokkinakis

It is a wonderful sight to see the Aussie back in form. One of the loveliest sights this year was watching the roar emotion on Thanasi’s face after winning his first match at home at the Australian Open for the first time in six years.

Since Melbourne he played well in Miami qualifying and in the main draw before losing a close match to Fucsovics in the second round 6-7 7-6 4-6. He has been playing mostly challenger tennis of late in Zagreb and Rome where he won 7 of his 11 matches across four events.

This last week the 25 year old has been at the Biella Challenger and finished his week back in the winners circle winning his first title since October 2018.

Maria Camila Osario Serrano

To start with I cannot tell you why the Colombian does not have a wildcard for Roland Garros, if there was a flaw in this system this is it.

The 19 year old from Cucuta in Colombia which is on the Venezuelan border has had a wonderful season so far. The teenager won her first career title on her WTA debut at home in Bogota as a wildcard! Since then we have seen her make the semi-finals in Charleston and then this last week came through qualifying in Belgrade to make the semi-finals losing a close match to Ana Konjuh.

I like the way Maria plays on clay, she has big powerful groundstrokes, her slice and movement at the back of the court to extend rallies is a key weapon of hers as is her drop shot. She has good disguise on it and is a very confident in her game and is a joy to watch.

I hope she does come through qualifying in Paris, she thoroughly deserves to be in the main draw but will have to go the long way around.

Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos made his Grand Slam debut in Australia back at the beginning of the year, he is another one I would have in the bracket of, where is he wildcard?

The Spaniard continues to impress as the year has gone on. At home in Andalucia and Madrid we saw some impressive performances from the 18 year old who really powers through his ground strokes and has impressed since his debut last year.

Coming into qualifying he is in good form, he just won a Challenger in Portugal beating some tough players including Bagnis in the final. It is also 22 years to the month that he coach and former world number one and Roland Garros champion Juan Carlos Ferrero won a Challenger title too!

Juan Manuel Cerundolo

The 19 year old from Buenos Aires is another who is going to have to go through qualifying despite a good run of form this year.

He began his year ranked at 341 in the world and by May has broken into the top 150 in the world for the first time!

Juan made his ATP debut in Cordoba with a wildcard in qualifying, 8 wins later the Argentine won his first ATP title on debut! The teenager saw off Seyboth Wild and Kecmanovic amongst others en-route to the final where he defeat Albert Ramos Vinolas in three sets.

He is a very good player, he is left handed and plays with a lot of top-spin and also has great feel around the net. He is a very clever player, it isn’t all about power but he plays with a bigger picture in mind, can he change the spin, speed and height of the ball to put himself in a better position?

The teenager has continued to play well winning Challenger in Biella but recently retired in Zagreb so hopefully he does get going in Paris!

Caty McNally

It hasn’t come together yet for the American in the singles. We have seen some good performances and glimpses in the past but just bringing it all together and finding consistency is the problem in singles.

Caty îs a good baseline player, I remember watching her against Serena and she can power through the court. A lot of the American’s success has come in doubles. Caty has had a number of partners, most notably is Coco Gauff but has recently won won back to back titles in Charleston at WTA 250 level with Hayley Baptiste and ITF Level with Storm Sanders on the clay.

Ilya Ivashka

Slightly confused once more why the Belarusian is even in qualifying, he is the top seed so would have been soo close to being in the main draw. Ilya has had a good clay season beginning in Andalucia, he then gave Nadal a good three set match before his exit in Barcelona.

After coming through qualifying in Barcelona he then did it again in Munich and made it to the final four losing to the 7th seed, Jan Lennard Struff but in the quarter finals did defeat the top seed, Alex Zverev.

He continued to come through qualifying again in Geneva. There is pressure as top seed but I do hope the 27 year old comes through!

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