How Jessica Pegula’s French Open withdrawal impacts women’s seedings at Roland Garros

Jessica Pegula Ons Jabeur
Jessica Pegula has pulled out of the French Open

It was an announcement that few would have wanted, but many would have expected.

US star Jessica Pegula has not played once this European clay court season and, after previously casting doubt on her French Open participation, has now officially withdrawn from the tournament.

On Instagram, the world No 5 admitted she was back hitting on court, but had made the “super safe” decision to pull out of the event.

She said: “I’m just about back to practicing normal (haven’t had any issues for weeks) but played it super safe with recovery & return to play.

“If I had another 5-7 days I would have been there 100%.”

Pegula’s withdrawal comes just before the French Open draw, which takes place on Thursday afternoon.

And the American’s decision to not play has had a huge impact in terms of the seedings, with several players potentially benefitting.

Read More: Jessica Pegula announces ‘super safe’ French Open decision

Jabeur Top 8

Pegula was set to be the fifth seed at Roland Garros, meaning everyone ranked below her has now shifted up one spot in the draw.

For some players, that will make less of an impact.

For fifth seed Marketa Vondrousova, sixth seed Maria Sakkari, and seventh seed Zheng Qinwen, the draw still has the same outlook: they will avoid a higher-ranked opponent until the last eight, should they reach that stage.

But for someone like Ons Jabeur, Pegula’s withdrawal has had a seismic impact.

The Tunisian was set to be the ninth seed, meaning the former Roland Garros quarter-finalist was set to draw one of Pegula, Vondrousova, Sakkari, or Zheng as early as round four.

However, Jabeur is now a top eight seed, and cannot face anyone ranked higher than her until the last eight.

Paolini, Krejcikova also benefit

With the way the seeding system works, four other players have received a timely boost ahead of the draw thanks to Pegula’s withdrawal.

Originally set to be the 13th seed, Italian star Jasmine Paolini will now be the 12th seed, and will now avoid facing a higher-ranked opponent until the fourth round.

It is a similar story for Ekaterina Alexandrova, who will on paper also avoid playing anyone ranked higher than her until the second week, after moving up to being 16th seed.

Former Roland Garros winner Barbora Krejcikova could have faced the likes of Iga Swiatek or Aryna Sabalenka as early as round three, but the Czech star will now be 24th seed – ensuring a kinder draw.

But the person who perhaps has the biggest change is Katerina Siniakova.

The Czech was set to be unseeded and at the mercy of the draw gods on Thursday, but will now be seeded 32nd and avoid a nightmare round one encounter.

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