ROLAND GARROS – The bad news for Canadian tennis is that Leylah Fernandez has had to pull out of the entire grass-court season because of the stress fracture in her right foot suffered at Roland Garros.
The good news is that, because of Fernandez’s withdrawal and the banning of the Russian and Belarussian players, Vancouver’s Rebecca Marino will be straight into the main draw.
The 31-year-old has only played Wimbledon once – it was all the way back in 2011.
She hasn’t even played the qualifying there since then.
Marino defeated Patricia Mayr before she was sliced up by Roberta Vinci in the second round.
(We remember that one well; Marino was just a couple of courts over from No. 2, where Milos Raonic was playing Gilles Mueller at the very same time. That was the year Raonic slipped on the grass early in the match and had to forfeit).
Along with Bianca Andreescu, who was able to enter with her actual ranking of No. 72 (and not a protected ranking) and possibly Genie Bouchard, that could be as many as three women in the main draw.
Andreescu has never won a main-draw match at Wimbledon. She qualified in 2017, but lost in the first round. In 2018, she was beaten in the final round of qualifying by Antonia Lottner.
She missed it in 2019 and 2020, and lost in the first round last year to Alizé Cornet.
On the men’s side, Félix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov are entered, along with Vasek Pospisil (who has been out with an elbow injury since losing in the first round of qualifying in Miami and just began serving again a week ago).
Missing players on all entry lists
Here is the men’s singles entry list, with the last one in (before the inetivable withdrawals) Fernando Verdasco, who worked hard this year to get his ranking up and squeezed in at No. 109.
Those in with protected rankings are: Dominic Thiem (No. 6), Borna Coric (No. 27), Aljaz Bedene (No. 75) and Attila Balasz (No. 101).
Missing from the list are: Daniil Medvedev (No. 2), Andrey Rublev (No. 7), Karen Khachanov (No. 24), Lloyd Harris (No. 37), Aslan Karatsev (No. 39), Roger Federer (No. 46, lol), Ilya Ivashka (No. 50), Kei Nishikori (No. 84), and Kevin Anderson (No. 104, retired).
Federer and Nishikori are injured; Anderson is retired. And Harris status, we’ll check on.
The carnage caused by the banning of the Russian and Belarussian players is far more significant on the women’s side, where the cutoff for the 104 main draw singles acceptances is … No. 118, Mihaela Buzarnescu.
In with protected rankings are Sofia Kenin (No. 4), Kirsten Flipkens (No. 97; the Belgian will be retiring at Wimbledon) and Elisabetta Cocciaretto (No. 113).
Missing are: Aryna Sabelanka (No. 7), Victoria Azarenka (No. 15), Leylah Fernandez (No. 17 – injury), Daria Kasatkina (No. 20), Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (No. 21), Liudmila Samsonova (No. 26), Veronika Kudermetova (No. 30), Ekaterina Alexandrova (No. 31), Elina Svitolina (No. 32 – pregnant), Marketa Vondrousova (No. 35), Aliaksandra Sasnovich (No. 45), Jacqueline Cristian (No. 69), Varvara Gracheva (No. 71), Anastasia Potapova (No. 78), Anna Kalinskaya (No. 82), Kamilla Rakhimova (No. 104) and Vitalia Diatchenko (No. 115).
Whew. That’s 17 players, only a few of whom are out because of injury or pregnancy. As many as nine of them would have been seeded – more than a quarter of the lot of 32 seeds.
Qualifying includes one Canadian
As at Roland Garros, there is only one Canadian in total, in both the women’s and men’s qualifying.
In Paris, that was Rebecca Marino. At Wimbledon it’s expected to be Vasek Pospisil.
On the men’s side, the immortal Dudi Sela will be returning once again, with his protected ranking of No. 224.
He was in Australia and at Roland Garros. So this is his third Grand Slam qualifying attempt on a protected ranking and we’re not sure how he’s doing it.
Second on the list is American Jack Sock, the 2014 Wimbledon doubles champion with Vasek Pospisil, who apparently has decided to start playing tennis again!!
There are 10 players with protected rankings on the initial qualifying list for the men, with the first cutoff being No. 245.
Yanina Wickmayer returns in Wimbledon qualifying
Former world No. 12 Yanina Wickmayer, who has been making a quiet comeback after maternity leave on the ITF circuit, is one of seven players with protected rankings entered in the women’s qualifying.
Wickmayer, who has played Wimbledon 12 times, hasn’t been there since 2019.
The initial rankings cutoff is No. 255, with former finalist Sabine Lisicki 17 spots out. You’d think they’d give her qualies wild card, at least.
Other than Bouchard on the off chance that someone doesn’t pull out of the main draw, there are no Canadian women on the qualifying list.