Townsend to Andreeva: Five to watch in women's qualifying

The fight for RG2023 main draw spots begins on Monday

Taylor Townsend, Roland-Garros 2022, ©Remy Chautard / FFT
 - Reem Abulleil

Women’s qualifying action kicks off on Monday at Roland-Garros with 128 hopefuls ready to battle it out for the 16 highly-coveted main draw spots that up for grabs.

Here are some players to keep an eye on during qualifying.

Taylor Townsend (USA)

A former junior prodigy currently writing a new chapter in her career as a mother competing on the WTA Tour, Taylor Townsend arrives in Paris on the back of a strong stretch of results on the clay courts of Italy.

The 27-year-old, who is on the verge of re-entering the world’s top 100, earned a precious win over world No.3 Jessica Pegula at the WTA 1000 tournament in Rome earlier this month before reaching the final of the W100 event in Florence, where she fell to Jasmine Paolini on Sunday.

It was the second top-10 victory of the American’s career and first since 2019.

An exciting talent that relies heavily on an aggressive serve-and-volley game, Townsend also cracked the top-10 in doubles after reaching the semi-finals at Roland-Garros (alongside Madison Keys) and US Open doubles final (with Caty McNally) last year.

Townsend made the singles third round on her Roland-Garros debut in 2014 and will chase an eighth main-draw appearance on Paris’ terre battue.

She begins her qualifying campaign against Serbia's Natalija Stevanovic.

Sofia Kenin (USA)

A champion at the Australian Open in 2020, and a finalist at Roland-Garros a few months later, Sofia Kenin is fighting her way back towards the top 100 after an ankle injury sidelined her for five months last season, during which she dropped outside the top 400.

The 24-year-old American scored a big win over world world No.2 Aryna Sabalenka in Rome earlier this month, en route to the third round, and kicks off her Roland-Garros qualifying journey against 22-year-old French wildcard Margaux Rouvroy.

The former world No.4 missed three of the past six Grand Slams and will be keen to make up for lost time in Paris.

“Of course I expect a lot of myself," Kenin recently told WTA Insider in Rome. “It's not easy being No.4 and now not ranked where I want to be, but I'm making progress.”

Sofia Kenin, Roland-Garros 2021©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT

Mirra Andreeva

While having just turned 16, Mirra Andreeva is already making waves on the women’s tour.

The teenager was 16-0 in professional matches this season when she stepped on court to face Sabalenka in the Madrid Open fourth round earlier this month.

She fought valiantly against the world No.2 and officially announced herself to the big leagues in the process.

Born in Siberia and based in Cannes, Andreeva is the third-youngest player to win a match at a WTA 1000 tournament and will be looking to make her Grand Slam main draw debut in Paris.

She was a finalist in girls’ singles at the Australian Open last January and is joined in the women’s singles qualifying draw this week by her older sister Erika.

Mirra opens her campaign against Polina Kudermetova – at 10:00am on Court 13 on Monday – while Erika is on the opposite side of the draw and faces Belgium’s Marie Benoit in her first round.

Mirra Andreeva, Madrid Open 2023© Antoine Couvercelle/FFT

Camila Osorio (COL)

Colombian favourite Camila Osorio hit two new milestones in Rome this month.

The 21-year-old claimed the first top-five victory of her career when she knocked out Caroline Garcia to reach the fourth round at a WTA 1000 event for the first time.

Ranked a career-high No.33 in the world last spring, Osorio was out for two months this year nursing a leg injury, which sent her outside the top 100.

Strong showings in Madrid and Rome have carried her back up the rankings and she enters qualifying as the top seed at Roland-Garros this week.

A former US Open junior champion, Osorio is searching for a third consecutive main-draw appearance on Parisian clay and commences her qualifying campaign at 10:00am on Court 2 on Monday against Raluka Serban of Cyprus.

Camila Osorio, Roland-Garros 2022, second round©Nicolas Gouhier / FFT

Brenda Fruhvirtova (CZE)

Earlier this year, as a 15-year-old, Brenda Fruhvirtova became the fifth-youngest player to qualify for the Australian Open women’ singles main draw.

Looking to compete in a Grand Slam main draw for the second time, Fruhvirtova has been handed a qualifying opener against Croatia’s Antonia Ruzic.

Last year, she picked up eight ITF titles – more than anyone else in 2022 – rocketing up the rankings from 1078 in the world to No.128 by season’s end.

When she qualified for the WTA 250 event in Guadalajara 15 months ago, she became the youngest player to compete in a WTA main draw in 13 years.  

The opening week of Roland-Garros is a chance to support your favourite players in their quests for main draw berths.

Throughout the week, you can also hit the stands on Court Philippe-Chatrier to watch the biggest names practise.

Don't forget to take part in the off-court activities around the grounds.