Shapovalov and Other Big Names Withdraw from the French Open

Denis Shapovalov Rome 2020

Denis Shapovalov is the seventh directly accepted player to withdraw from the French Open. Attila Balazs is struggling with a leg injury, Kyle Edmund still hasn’t healed up his knee. Vasek Pospisil and Nick Kyrgios will be focusing on the upcoming grass-court season, while Borna Coric is recovering after shoulder surgery. 2016 runner-up Andy Murray wasn’t directly accepted into the main draw, but pulled out from the qualifying to delay his comeback to Nottingham Challenger, played on grass.

On the women’s side, 2018 champion Simona Halep was forced to withdraw with a tear in her left calf. The Romanian was perceived as one of the favorites for the title but couldn’t overcome the injury that saw her retire leading 6-1 3-3 against Angelique Kerber in Rome.

The biggest names that will miss the Paris slam on the men’s side are Stan Wawrinka and Denis Shapovalov. The former, the 2015 Roland Garros champion, will not feature in the main draw at the French Open for the first time since 2004. The Swiss needs more time to get match fit after a left foot injury.

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Shapovalov, on the other hand, is a much more surprising withdrawal. The Canadian was in very good form, wasting match points against eventual champion Rafael Nadal in Rome and finishing runner-up to Casper Ruud at Geneva on Sunday.

The Canadian’s withdrawal will shake up the seeding for this year’s Roland Garros. The 15th seed will now go to the aforementioned Ruud, allowing Grigor Dimitrov to squeeze into the top 16. After Wawrinka and Coric decided to pull out, the last seeded player was supposed to be John Isner, currently ranked 34th in the ATP Rankings. Shapovalov’s decision opens up the door for Isner’s countryman and recent Rome semifinalist, Reilly Opelka.

Despite notable results at other major clay-court events, Shapovalov was yet to progress past the second round at the French Open. In the edition held last fall, the Canadian lost a thrilling five-hour contest to Roberto Carballes Baena, after taking out veteran Frenchman Gilles Simon. Shapovalov has since released an official statement, citing an issue with his shoulder.

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