The second grand slam of the calendar year takes centre stage in Paris on Sunday night (AEST) as 128 players from both the men’s and women’s sides of the draw contest for the prestigious Roland-Garros trophy.
Many big names will be participating, most notably a strong contingent of youth knocking on the door on the men's side to overtake their long-standing competitors at the top of the game. However, like every other tournament and grand slam event, there will always be unfortunate injuries and withdrawals. The 2023 French Open is no different as some notable star attractions will be out of action. Men’s Withdrawals: Rafael Nadal (World Number 15) [ESP] As soon as the news first broke about Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal from Roland-Garros, it was always going to be the number one news headline in the tennis world, and rightfully so. This will be the Spaniard’s first omission from the tournament since 2004, having won the event 14 times. After experiencing pain at this year’s Australian Open, the king of clay has been battling a hip injury that has forced him out of action ever since. “The evolution of the injury I sustained in Australia has not gone as I would have liked. I have lost goals along the way, and Roland-Garros becomes impossible,” Nadal told a news conference at his tennis academy in Mallorca, Spain. Even the most sturdy optimist would admit that his absence will serve as a massive blow for the two-week main event. Nick Kyrgios (World Number 25) [AUS] A frustrating campaign gets worse for Australian talent Nick Kyrgios, not being able to take to the court in a competitive match this year. The 28-year-old was forced to pull out of January’s Australian Open due to a knee injury requiring arthroscopic surgery. Recently the news has failed to improve for the Wimbledon finalist as he’s had to withdraw from the French Open due to a foot injury sustained while protecting his mother after an alleged house robbery in Canberra. Kyrgios hasn’t featured in the main draw of the tournament since 2017. Andy Murray (World Number 42) [UK] Having started the year in style at Melbourne Park after impressive wins against Matteo Berrettini and Thanasi Kokkinakis, the 36-year-old Brit has decided to skip this year’s French Open. Instead, he will turn his attention to the grass court season and his Wimbledon aspirations. The 2016 Roland-Garros finalist is still managing his body after slowly returning from a near-career-ending hip injury that required surgery. Matteo Berrettini (World Number 20) [ITA] Unfortunately for Italian fans, Berrettini can’t seem to catch a break, announcing earlier this week that he will not be flying to Paris after failing to recover in time from an abdominal injury. “I will not be ready in time for Paris so my return to the tour will be in Stuttgart,” he posted on Instagram. The 2021 Wimbledon runner-up will be setting his sights on a positive grass court season which is his preferred surface. Pablo Carreno-Busta (World Number 21) [ESP] One of the most consistent players on tour, Carreno-Busta will miss the French Open after not playing since February in Rotterdam. The expected return of the Spaniard is unknown considering he has not provided any insight to the media about his lingering circumstances. Marin Cilic (World Number 22) [CRO] Back in January, former US Open champion Marin Cilic underwent knee surgery and is expected to remain out of action for another few months. “A few challenges to start 2023. After consulting with various specialists, I made the difficult decision to undergo knee surgery as it seemed the best option for a long term fix to the injury I got at the start of this year,” Cilic posted on Instagram. Women’s Withdrawals:
Paula Badosa (World Number 29) [ESP]
It has been a somewhat frustrating year for the former world number 2, capped off by her latest injury setback suffered in Rome last week which will deny her place in the main draw.
A stress fracture in her spine means that the 25-year-old will now miss the first two grand slams of the calendar year.
“Just when everything seemed fine again, I received bad news just before starting a Grand Slam. At the tournament in Rome I suffered a stress fracture in my spine,” Badosa confirmed. Ajla Tomjanovic (World Number 46) [AUS] Australia’s number one seed confirmed her withdrawal from Roland-Garros as she continues to recover from knee surgery in January. Earlier in the week, Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley provided an update on Ajla. “It’s been a long to recovery for [Tomljanovic] and we missed her in January … but we’ve been in touch, and she’s on the road to recovery,” Tiley said. Ajla’s absence means that Australia does not have a direct entrant for the first time in 55 years. Daria Saville (World Number 137) [AUS] Another Aussie fan favourite has confirmed her tournament withdrawal, almost nine months after suffering a serious ACL knee injury in the Japan Open. The 29-year-old emphatically climbed to inside the top 50, moving over 550 places before the sudden injury. She has continued her rehab work and is aiming to make an appearance on the court by the end of the season. Emma Raducanu (World Number 107) [UK] The young British talent rose to stardom thanks to her 2021 US Open triumph, but injuries have derailed a promising career for Raducanu. She will skip the upcoming French Open due to multiple ankle and wrist surgeries, aiming to slowly return and not rush the recovery process. “I’m having a minor procedure done on both hands to resolve the issues. I’m disappointed to share that I will be out for the next few months and while I am at it will have another minor procedure that is due on my ankle,” she posted on her socials at the beginning of May. Simona Halep (World Number 35) [ROU] The tennis world isn’t accustomed to witnessing this kind of drama every day. A doping ban placed on the former world number 1 has forced the Romanian out of the game since the US Open last year. As a result, she will not be present for Roland-Garros, a tournament she won back in 2018. The Latest developments over the past few days involve the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) postponing her hearing for a third time. “I am waiting to be judged since last October…I have asked, as the rules of the anti-doping state it, for a quick hearing: this is my right, it is written in the rules! Unfortunately, the ITIA has postponed my hearing three times,” Halep posted on her socials.
Naomi Osaka (World Number 401) [JPN]
The four-time grand slam champion has significantly plummeted down the rankings to outside the top 400 as she confirmed in January that she is expecting to give birth later this year.
A high-profile name, Osaka has been a big loss for tournament organisers throughout the season, but the 25-year-old is expecting to be fully ready to be back out on the court competing at Melbourne Park.
“I’ll see you guys at the start of the next one because I’ll be at Aus 2024,” she said.
Amanda Anisimova (World Number 90) [USA]
One set away from reaching her maiden grand slam final at the French in 2019, 21-year-old talent Amanda Anisimova has had to pull out of the event four years later.
The American has decided to take a break and remove herself from the sport for the foreseeable future to prioritise her mental health.
“I’ve really been struggling with my mental health and burnout since the summer of 2022. It’s become unbearable being at tennis tournaments. At this point, my priority is my mental well-being and taking a break for some time,” she wrote on Instagram.
The French Open gets underway on Sunday night (AEDT) with play commencing at 7pm.