A pair of potential seeds made last chance withdrawals form the French Open on Thursday, with Milos Raonic and Belinda Bencic pulling the plug without explanation.

The 20th-ranked Raonic reached a Paris best of the 2017 fourth round but has not played the event during the last two editions.

Bencic, ranked 10th, has an equally spotty record on the Roland Garros clay, with a third round in 2019 her best showing.

The draw for the clay major which begins on Sunday was made Thursday evening. 

Raonic and Bencic both lost early-round matches a week ago in Rome as the clay season delayed by the COVID-19 virus from spring to summer, kicked off a stunted buildup for the French Open.

With Bencic out – she also skipped the US Open – only six of the WTA Top 10 are competing under quarantine conditions in Paris.

Bencic told Swiss media her reason for withdrawing: 

“I am very sad to not be able to play in Paris this year. I am dealing with a right arm issue that prevents me from competing at 100 per cent.

“But I’m working with my team to get it solved and be back competing as soon as possible.”

Also missing: holder Ash Barty, US. Open champion Naomi Osaka and 2019 US Open winner Bianca Andreescu.

Roland Garros is being played four months late this year due to a unilateral postponement last March by the French federation which went unchallenged in the early days of the tennis pandemic shutdown.


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