Rafael Nada appears the runaway favorite for the French Open while the Williams sisters, neither of whom have contested a women’s Paris final since 2002, will be the top two seeds. But the year’s second Grand Slam has a depleted look as a French Tennis Federation revealed the growing list of non-participants.
US Open champion Kim Clijsters underwent more tests on her injured left foot in Belgium late last week and the results convinced her that a return to action at Roland Garros would have been premature and not conducive to her hopes of contesting Wimbledon and her title defense at Flushing Meadow.
Clijsters is still suffering from a build up of fluid around the injury she sustained play for Belgium in the Fed Cup against Estonia three weeks ago and the original prognosis of a six weeks inactivity still seems to hold good.
“I will continue my recovery to be totally up for the season on grass," admitted Clijsters on her own website. “It's really a shame to give up on Roland Garros.
“Paris is so close to where I live and I always feel a little at home. And that's where I played my first Grand Slam final. But the foot pain forces me to throw in the towel.”
Juan Martin Del Potro, the men’s US Open Champion and world no.5, had already announced his non participation in either the French Open or Wimbledon after undergoing wrist surgery and now no.6 Nikolay Davydenko has predictably joined him on the Roland Garros absentee list.
Davydenko has been suffering wrist problems since the beginning of the year. He was forced to retire from his second round match in February’s Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships and has not played since giving Viktor Troicki a walkover in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells in mid-March.
Tommy Haas, Igor Andreev and James Blake are other notable no-shows in the men’s tournament so Michal Przysiezny, Daniel Gimeno-Traver, Paolo Lorenzi, Ricardo Mello and Kevin Anderson. Meanwhile Sania Mirza, Urszula Radwanska, Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Sabine Lisicki have pulled out of the women's tournament.
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