Qualifying test for Gulbis and Robredo

Young guns Kokkinakis, Auger-Aliassime and Ruud also in RG qualifying draw.

 - Matt Trollope

There’s no shortage of players with impressive Roland-Garros credentials peppered throughout the men’s qualifying draw.

The 128-player event, which begins on Monday at Stade Roland-Garros, is headed by top seed Taro Daniel, who won the recent ATP clay-court title in Istanbul.

But it’s former top-10 stars Ernest Gulbis and Tommy Robredo whose names more readily catch the eye. There’s also former world No.17 Bernard Tomic in there, too.

Gulbis opens against 38-year-old French veteran Stephane Robert. The Latvian has twice gone deep at Roland-Garros, advancing to the quarter-finals in 2008 and the semi-finals in 2014, the latter run including a win over Roger Federer in the last 16. The result catapulted him into the top 10.

Four years on, Gulbis is now ranked No.190, having battled intermittent wrist injuries for the past three seasons. A successful path through three rounds of qualifying would see him embark on his 12th consecutive appearance in the main draw in Paris.

Robredo, a former world No.5 who has made five Roland-Garros quarter-finals, has drawn 20th seed Simone Bolelli as his first-round opponent, while Tomic, who recently reached a clay-court final at the Aix-en-Provence ATP Challenger, faces Darian King of Barbados.

Also in the draw are some of the game’s most exciting rising stars. There is Tomic’s  fellow Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis, who once reached the third round in Paris and who is on the comeback trail from a hairline kneecap fracture suffered in Monte-Carlo.

There’s Canadian 17-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime – who opens against South Africa’s Lloyd Harris – and 19-year-old Norwegian Casper Ruud, who has drawn Brazilian No.5 seed Thiago Monteiro.

And there’s plenty of local interest, with 16 Frenchman taking to the courts in the qualifying draw. The highest-ranked home hope is 21st seed Quentin Halys, who opens against Argentina’s Andrea Collarini and is projected to meet No.10 seed Martin Klizan in the final round.

Men’s qualifying begins at 10am on Monday 21 May at Roland-Garros.

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