Sport: Katie Boulter unexpectedly drawn to face Donna Vekic in French Open... but will the British star be able to play? - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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SportKatie Boulter unexpectedly drawn to face Donna Vekic in French Open... but will the British star be able to play?

05:40  24 may  2019
05:40  24 may  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Simona Halep will kickstart her French Open campaign against Ajla Tomljanovic as she looks to defend a It was expected that she would be the only Brit in the draw but surprisingly Katie Boulter – who was She will take on Donna Vekic if she is indeed planning on playing . Another in-form star is the

The French Open main draw has been announced as reigning champions Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep discover their opponents for the first round. The world number one will play 22-year-old Katie Boulter faces a tough test against the number 23 seed Donna Vekic , while Heather Watson

Britain's singles representation in Thursday night's French Open draw was boosted from four to five when Katie Boulter unexpectedly turned up in the hat for the women's championship.

The 22 year-old from Leicestershire was drawn to face Donna Vekic, but there was mystery around whether she will be fit to play after aggravating a back injury in the Fed Cup last month which has kept her out of action ever since.

It was understood she was struggling to make Wimbledon, let alone Paris, and questions will inevitably be asked about the rule that has been brought in encouraging players not to play when less than fully fit.

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Katie Boulter unexpectedly drawn to face Donna Vekic in French Open... but will the British star be able to play? © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Katie Boulter unexpectedly turned up in the hat for the women's French Open championship

Under the regulation brought in last year a player who is on site but pulls out of the draw is entitled to half the first round prize money, which in this case is €23,000 (£20,300).

At the time entries were made Boulter was ranked high enough to gain direct entry into the field, and would be entitled to the payout if she withdrew.

She did, however, post an Instagram post of herself in the gym at the Lawn Tennis Association's Roehampton headquarters on Thursday. Nobody from her camp was available for comment.

A picture also emerged of Serena Williams, who has been dealing with knee problems, sitting in a wheelchair while visiting Disneyland Paris, but she was also in the draw and there has been no indication she will not play.

Watson, Swan move closer to French Open

Watson, Swan move closer to French Open Watson, Swan move closer to French Open

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She is due to take on Russia's Vitalia Diatchenko in the first round, the same player who caused an upset at Wimbledon last year by knocking out Maria Sharapova.

While Katie Swan could bolster the GB contingent if she wins her final qualifying round on Friday, there are some guaranteed interesting draws for British players.

Katie Boulter unexpectedly drawn to face Donna Vekic in French Open... but will the British star be able to play? © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited There was mystery around whether she will be fit to play after aggravating a back injury

Cam Norrie, who has risen to world No 41 on the back of some heartening clay court results, will face Australia's Nick Kyrgios, fresh from his default from Rome after a rant against Novak Djokovic.

Kyle Edmund, who has been contrastingly wrestling with a poor run of form, made the seedings at No 31 but was given a tough assignment, against London-based Frenchman Jeremy Chardy. Dan Evans will play clay court expert Fernando Verdasco, the world No 26.

Boulter withdraws from French Open

Boulter withdraws from French Open Boulter withdraws from French Open

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Jo Konta will surely fancy here chances of breaking her main draw duck in Paris after reaching the Italian Open final, and she was placed against a qualifier in the first round.

In the wider men's draw Novak Djokovic got a slightly rougher deal than Rafael Nadal, as he was placed in the same half as Dominic Thiem - away from Nadal - with the Austrian probably the biggest threat to the likely showdown between the world No 1 and 2. Roger Federer is in Nadal's half.

Swan has a decent chance of making the main draw on Friday when she tackles Slovakia's Kristina Kucova, who is 29 years-old and ranked 189 in the world. The 20 year-old from Bristol battled back on Thursday from 3-5 down in the deciding set to defeat China's Xiyu Wang 6-4, 0-6, 7-5.

It ought to have been two Brits in the final round of qualifying but Heather Watson failed to convert a 5-3 lead in the decider against Greece's Valentini Grammatikopoulou and was to go down 7-5, 6-7, 7-6.

Katie Boulter unexpectedly drawn to face Donna Vekic in French Open... but will the British star be able to play? © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The 22 year-old from Leicestershire was drawn to face Donna Vekic (pictured) on Thursday

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Roger Federer, who has been in rare form at 35, announced on Monday that he will not play in the French Open , which begins in two weeks, and will instead focus on the grass-court and hardcourt events ahead, including Wimbledon and the United States Open .

PARIS — Roger Federer withdrew from this year’s French Open on Thursday, putting an end to one of tennis’s most remarkable streaks. The last time Federer, 34, did not take part in the main draw in singles at a Grand Slam event was in the last millennium.

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