Just ahead of qualifying at Roland Garros, it has been announced that Daria Saville and Chris O’Connell have been awarded main draw wildcards into the French Open singles tournament.
This is a reciprocal arrangement.
Main draw action gets underway in Paris on Sunday 22 May.
Saville (nee Gavrilova) is on the comeback trail from plantar fasciitis and Achilles surgery. The former world no. 20 had tumbled down the rankings and was at no. 627 back in February.
A wonderful sunshine swing for Saville saw her reach the last 16 in Indian Wells and her first WTA 1000-level quarterfinal in Miami. Those two results saw her ranking shoot up towards the top-100. Saville is currently ranked at no. 130.
Saville says she is eager to return to the prestigious clay courts of Paris for the first time in two years.
“I’m super excited and really grateful for the opportunity to play Roland Garros this year,” Saville said.
“It means so much to get a wildcard and to have ongoing support from Tennis Australia. I really am going to make sure that I make the most of this wildcard.”
France holds fond memories for Saville and her tennis career so far.
“It’s (Roland Garros) one of my favourite tournaments. I did really well when I was a junior here (making the 2009 girls’ singles final), so I have a lot of memories,” she said.
“I trained at Mouratoglou Academy a few years ago, so I feel like France is pretty close to my heart. It was my home for a few years, so I’m really excited to be playing here.
“I love being in Europe, I love the clay. I’m really enjoying being back on the tour, I’ve missed it so much.”
Ajla Tomljanovic and Astra Sharma are automatic entrants.
Roland Garros Australian men’s singles contingent
Chris O’Connell will join Alex de Minaur, James Duckworth, Jordan Thompson, John Millman, Thanasi Kokkinakis, and Alexei Popyrin in the main draw. Nick Kyrgios withdrew.
27-year-old O’Connell recently won the ATP Challenger title in Split Croatia. That result would have helped him take the wildcard ahead of Aleksandar Vukic who is ranked one place ahead of O’Connell at no. 124.
O’Connell reached the third round at the Australian Open in January and defeated Diego Schwartzman in the second round. At the 2021 Roland Garros tournament, also as a wildcard, O’Connell lost in five sets to Tommy Paul in the opening round.
“I’m very excited and grateful Tennis Australia has given me the opportunity to compete in the main draw once again,” O’Connell said.
“This wildcard means I now don’t need to go through the physical and mental rigours of qualifying, which I experienced at Wimbledon last year.
“I’ve been playing well on the clay over the past month and hope to continue that form heading into Roland Garros.”