Teen Noskova completes qualifying mission

Reigning RG junior champion becomes youngest woman to qualify in Paris since 2009.

Linda Noskova, Roland Garros 2022, qualifying third round© Andre Ferreira/FFT
 - Alex Sharp

Paris is a special spot for Linda Noskova.

The Czech prodigy tasted Grand Slam glory last summer as the girls’ singles champion. A year on the teenager is making her mark on the terre battue once again.

A comprehensive 6-3, 6-2 passage past Rebecca Sramkova sent the 17-year-old into her maiden Grand Slam main draw to carve out her own slice of history.

The world No.185 is the youngest Czech to feature at a major since Nicole Vaidisova at the 2006 US Open and the youngest woman to qualify for Roland-Garros since a 16-year-old Michelle Larcher de Brito in 2009.


“It feels really great, I wasn’t expecting it at all. I didn’t come here with too much practice or too many matches, so I wasn’t too prepared,” stated Noskova.

“I remember four or five years ago I lost in the junior qualifying first round here. I came onsite and it was a real dream come true just to be here to soak it all in. I said to myself I have to play here one day.

“I have great memories from the juniors, the whole occasion, moments with the crowd, I just love the vibes here.”

Noskova’s 2021 junior triumph continued the conveyor belt of Czech talent launching to the top.

Since then she’s been predominantly plying her trade on the ITF World Tennis Tour, the level below the WTA, scooping up three titles along the way.

“I’ve been playing professional over a year now and I knew here I could be as good or even better than them because I won some $60,000 tournaments,” said the teenager. “What matters is now and I’m so happy to still be here.”

The 17-year-old is determined to build the champion’s mentality.


“I’m really an introvert, I don’t take things too personally or too deep, but sometimes I keep all the emotions in me and won’t show anything,” added Noskova.

“That’s not always good for me and sometimes I think about my failures, losses for a long time, but I’m working a lot on that with myself.”

Redemption for Niemeier

Elsewhere in qualifying, it was a case of fourth time lucky for Jule Niemeier.

The world No.103 was left devastated after losing in the latter stages of qualifying at the past three Grand Slams.

Over to Paris and the 22-year-old has finally moved into a major main draw by dismissing Moyuka Uchijima 6-0, 6-1.

“It has a huge meaning for me. I played four qualies now and my first one at Wimbledon, I had two match points in that final match and lost,” said the world No.103, after tossing her racquet into the air in celebration.

“That’s not a nice experience, so I was pretty emotional at the end to reach a main draw for the first time.”

Jule Niemeier, 3e tour, qualifications, Roland-Garros 2022©Clément Mahoudeau / FFT

Niemeier has been in dominant form this week, surrendering just seven games across her three matches.

“These have been the perfect conditions for me and my game with the weather, helping me to play my game, to attack with my serve and forehand. It’s working well so far,” reflected the German.

“I will try to enjoy my next couple of days, relax a bit and then get my focus back on again. I’ll be ready.”

Niemeier has showcased some pretty impressive football skills on her Instagram and it turns out she spent a fair amount of time on the football pitch growing up.

“We always have some keepy-ups before the matches to mess around a bit,” said the 22-year-old.  

“I played football when I was 13 or 14 for a couple of seasons. I support Borussia Dortmund and it’s amazing to see them live, I love watching soccer.

“I was a striker which fits to my game.”

Her Billie Jean King Cup team-mate Laura Siegemund couldn’t double up the German success. The 2020 quarter-finalist let a lead slip and fell 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 to 21st seed Cristina Bucsa, who qualified for Roland-Garros at the third attempt.

Former world No.19 Donna Vekic was pushed all the way 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 in a near three-hour battle with Anastasia Gasanova.

Third seed Zhu Lin completed qualifying with 7-5, 6-3 on the scoreboard over Viktoria Kuzmova. Serbia’s Aleksandra Krunic also booked her ticket into the main draw courtesy of a 7-5, 6-2 victory facing Reka Luca Jani.

Belgian’s Ysaline Bonaventure required just 65 minutes to advance 6-4, 6-2 versus Anastasia Kulikova. Fifth seed Irina Bara edged into the main draw 7-6(5), 6-4 up against Nao Hibino.

The remainder of qualifying matches will conclude on Friday before main draw action kicks off on Sunday.

Ysaline Bonaventure, Roland Garros 2022, qualifying third round© Clément Mahoudeau/FFT