Former No.1 Caroline Wozniacki and potential future No. 1 Belinda Bencic have both officially withdrawn from the French Open due to injuries.
Neither is surprising given the issues both have dealt with in 2016. Bencic, currently ranked No. 8, has been dealing with a back problem for months, and having missed essentially the entire clay court season, it makes little sense to play briefly on the dirt and then switch right to grass, on which she won her first title last year in Eastbourne before Wimbledon.
The 19 year old burst onto the scene by making the 2014 U.S. Open quarterfinals and then stunned the tennis world in August by beating six Grand Slam finalists (or champions) in a row, including Serena Williams, to win the Rogers Cup in Toronto. She had a decent start to this year, losing to Maria Sharapova in the round of 16 at the Australian Open (Sharapova’s last win before her suspension) and making the St. Petersburg final, but has gone 1-5 since then. Coincidentally, the only player Bencic has beaten in that span, Lauren Davis, is also the player who will take her spot in the French Open field.
Wozniacki, meanwhile, has also missed the last couple months, with her ailment being an injured right ankle, in which she sustained a torn ligament and two that were hyperextended. The Dane, who is still only 25, hasn’t had much success since making the 2014 U.S. Open final. Losing by the second round in four of the five Grand Slams since then, 2015 saw her six-year streak of top 10 seasons end, finishing No. 17, and now she’s outside the top 30. She is just 8-7 on the season.
Bencic’s withdrawal bumps 2015 French Open semifinalist Timea Bacsinszky up from the 9th seed to the 8th, which gets her into the 5-8 group of seeds, as well as moving dangerous clay courter Carla Suarez Navarro up from the 13-16 group into the 9-12 quartet. In addition, Monica Niculescu and Jelena Ostapenko will now be seeded. Because qualifying started before Wozniacki’s withdrawal, her spot in the draw will be taken by a lucky loser after qualifying is completed.