2018 Roland Garros Men’s Qualifying Report: Gulbis, Tomic, and Ruud Look to Leave Their Mark

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Roland Garros Men’s Qualifying is in the books for 2018 and it’s time to take a look at the qualifiers and lucky losers who have made it through to the French Open main draw and could pull some upsets in the tournament’s opening week.

Former ATP contenders Tomic, Klizan and Gulbis Qualify

It’s been a long journey back to respectable tennis for Bernard Tomic, the former young gun has seen his career fade to irrelevance in recent years, but he didn’t drop a set in qualifying, prior to that he played well at the challenger level, and now has a chance to at least best his French Open results from previous years where he reached the second round. Tomic will begin against fellow flamboyant countryman Nick Kyrgios.

Martin Klizan was once a top 30 player, and he’s made the third round at the French Open before. The Slovakian has a decent shot at round 3 with Laslo Djere and an out of form Gael Monfils in his path. Klizan has always had the weapons to cause trouble, but consistency has been a challenge. Klizan won all of his qualifying matches in three sets.

Ernests Gulbis opens with Gilles Muller and could reach the third round. Nearly 30, Gulbis was formerly a top 10 player and in 2014 he reached the semifinals at Roland Garros. He’s been struggling to return to ATP level for some time though and did drop sets in qualifying. This could be the last chance for Gulbis to make something meaningful of his disappointing career.

Veterans Stakhovsky, Bellucci, Dutra Silva, Bolelli, and Giraldo Look to Leave Their Mark

Sergiy Stakhovsky opens with fellow veteran Feliciano Lopez after qualifying as the #18 seed. Stakhovsky, a wily veteran at 32, has shown the ability to upset better players but he’s never quite been able to maintain his best level, formerly reaching a career high of #31 in 2010.

Thomaz Bellucci has made the second week at Roland Garros before and was once in the top 25. Bellucci dropped just a set in qualifying and will look to put his power on display against Federico Delbonis. Bellucci’s countryman Rogerio Dutra Silva dominated qualifying, but the 34 year old is unlikely to trouble Novak Djokovic in the opening round.

Simone Bolelli is another over 30 looking to match his previous best showing in Paris (third round). Bolelli was once top 40 on the ATP tour but his career has faded outside of the top 100. Bolelli got in as a lucky loser but he was punished with having to face Rafael Nadal in round 1.

Big hitter Santiago Giraldo has a great opportunity against fellow veteran shotmaker Marcos Baghdatis in round 1. The formerly top 30 Giraldo has one previous third round showing in Paris and will be aiming to match that again.

Young guns Ruud, Ymer, Munar, Taberner and Hurkacz into the Main Draw

Expect to see more of French Open main draw debutante Casper Ruud. Already one of Norway’s best ever tennis talents, Ruud could break into the top 100 if he is able to secure a third round matchup with Juan Martin Del Potro (Jordan Thompson and Albert Ramos stand in his way). Ruud is solid on clay and though he hasn’t broken through yet, a big result is coming soon. Ruud dominated qualifying.

Sweden’s Elias Ymer has yet to win a Grand Slam main draw match, but at 22 with former Roland Garros star Robin Soderling in his coaching box, Ymer has a solid chance to at  least defeat Dudi Sela in round 1. Ymer is another that looks on the precipice of a memorable slam result.

Jaume Munar at age 21 has reached his career high ranking of 155. He’s making his main draw debut in paris and he’s previously a French Open junior finalist. Perhaps the next Spanish tennis star, Munar drew his accomplished countryman David Ferrer in what should be a challenging contest. Munar qualified with a third set tiebreak against Duckhee Lee of South Korea. Munar’s countryman Carlos Taberner is making his Grand Slam debut against young Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas.

21 year old Hubert Hurkacz is making his Grand Slam debut against Tennys Sandgren. Hurkacz dropped just a set in qualifying and will be the only Polish player in the men’s singles main draw.

Best of the Rest

23 year old Adam Pavlasek, who won a match in Paris last year, faces Mirza Basic in a winnable round 1 match, the former top 80 player is inbetween the ATP tour and challenger level. Ilya Ivashka of Belarus drew Dominic Thiem in just his second ever Grand Slam main draw match.

30 year old Jurgen Zopp has had a disappointing career, the former top 100 player has won a match in Paris before and drew Jack Sock in round 1. He upset Thanasi Kokkinakis in qualifying, then made the tournament as a lucky loser.

26 year old Guido Andreozzi has never cracked the top 100, he’s making his Roland Garros debut against Taylor Fritz. Jozef Kovalik faces Pablo Carreno Busta as he’s aiming to break into the top 100. His final round qualifying opponent Peter Polansky made it in as a lucky loser and faces Pierre-Hugues Herbert in round 1.

American fans can rally behind 25 year old Denis Kudla, a formerly top 60 player who has slipped out of the top 100 again. Kudla is making his third appearance in Paris and faces Damir Dzumhur in the opening round.

Oscar Otte is making his Grand Slam debut as a lucky loser. The 24 year old German has a winnable round 1 match against Matteo Berrettini. Ruben Bemelmans also made it as a lucky loser, he’ll face Yuki Bhambri having never previously won a main draw match in Paris, the only slam where he has a winless record.

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