Tennis: Milos Raonic, Belinda Bencic withdraw from French Open as main draw announced

Tennis: Milos Raonic, Belinda Bencic withdraw from French Open as main draw announced

PARIS (Reuters) – Canada’s Milos Raonic and Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic have pulled out of the French Open, organisers said on Thursday (Sept 24) as they made the draw for the final Grand Slam of the year.

Raonic, ranked 20th in the world, played the Italian Open last week and was eliminated in the second round.

Meanwhile, women’s world No. 10 Bencic was knocked out in straight sets in her first match in Rome after getting a bye into the second round.

Bencic’s withdrawal means only six of the top 10 ranked women’s players will compete at Roland Garros, with defending champion Ashleigh Barty, US Open champion Naomi Osaka and Bianca Andreescu skipping the tournament.

Spain’s Fernando Verdasco was also a late withdrawal.

The French Open, usually held in May-June but postponed this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, begins on Sunday.

In the pick of the first-round matches, former world No. 1 Andy Murray will face fellow three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka, while in the women’s draw, world No. 13 Johanna Konta takes on teen sensation Coco Gauff.