ONE WIN FROM FRENCH OPEN
Ashley Marshall | May 24, 2018
A Grand Slam main-draw debut is within touching distance for American teenager Caroline Dolehide after a hard-fought win on Day 4 of qualies put her one victory from joining the best players in the world at next week's French Open.
Dolehide (pictured above) rallied to beat Marie Bouzkova, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, in the second of three qualifying rounds in Paris on Thursday afternoon. It sets up Friday’s third-round match against Romanian Irina Bara, who defeated No. 4 seed Anna Blinkova earlier in the day, with a spot in the 128-player field up for grabs.
The 19-year-old Dolehide surpassed her previous best Grand Slam result – the second round of qualies in Melbourne in January – and will now look to join the 18 other U.S. women in the main draw.
Dolehide, seeded 17th in the French Open Qualifying Tournament, made a name for herself earlier this season at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, where she secured consecutive three-set wins over fellow American Shelby Rogers and No. ADVERTISEMENT 30 seed Dominika Cibulkova in the first two rounds of the tournament.
Her run came to an end in the third round at the hands of world No. 1 and eventual semifinalist Simona Halep, but not before she gave Halep a scare and came within a couple points of the biggest result of her life.
Joining Dolehide in the final round of qualies is Grace Min, who also fought back from a set down to defeat No. 11 seed Sara Sorribes Tormo, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. Min will play Martina Trevisan of Italy, who defeated rising teen Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine in the second round.
Also winning on the red Parisian clay Thursday was 25-year-old Denis Kudla. The world No. 114 dropped just three games in dispatching Jurgen Zopp of Estonia in the final qualifying round to earn a spot in the men's main draw.
Kudla hit nine aces and recorded 22 winners, compared with just six unforced errors, in cruising past Zopp, 6-2, 6-1, in less than an hour. There's a one-in-four chance he'll meet a seed in the first round of Roland Garros, his third appearance in the main draw, but it's more likely that he'll face someone closer to his own ranking, affording him a chance to move back toward the Top 100.
Kudla is the lone American man to advance through the qualifying tournament, after Reilly Opelka dropped a final-set tiebreak to Jozef Kovalik in his third-round encounter.
Elsewhere on Day 4, Jamie Loeb lost in straight sets to former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone; Francesca Di Lorenzo fell to second-seeded Rebecca Peterson; No. 8 seed Nicole Gibbs dropped a three-set battle with Veronika Kudermetova; and reigning Wimbledon girls' junior champ Claire Liu lost to Georgina Garcia Lopez in a third-set tiebreak.