Guadalajara Open draw: Ons Jabeur looks to halt slide in decimated field as Eugene Bouchard gets wildcard

Shahida Jacobs
Ons Jabeur walking

The Guadalajara Open has been robbed of several high-profile names, leaving Ons Jabeur as the highest-ranked player in the field.

Four-time Grand Slam winner Iga Swiatek, newly crowned US Open champion Coco Gauff, defending champion Jessica Pegula and 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina were all scheduled to play at the WTA 1000 event, but withdrew on the back of a hectic North American hard-court season.

New world No 1 Aryna Sabalenka opted not to enter the Mexican tournament and Gauff was always going to take a break on the back of her title run at Flushing Meadows. Swiatek, meanwhile, pulled out of the event saying she didn’t want to “risk an injury”.

“Unfortunately I need to withdraw from the tournament in Guadalajara due to a change of schedule,” the Pole wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

“I need to listen to my body and the season is very intense — our number one priority is to play it until the end in good health and plan it wisely so we wouldn’t risk an injury.”

The spate of withdrawals has left world No 7 Jabeur as the top seed with Maria Sakkari as the second seed.

Three-time Grand Slam runner-up Jabeur has struggled for form in recent weeks as she lost in the fourth round of the US Open and followed it up with an early defeat at the San Diego Open this week.

The Tunisian has been handed a kind draw as she will open her campaign against either Lauren Davis or Alycia Parks in the second round while she is projected to meet eighth seed Ekaterina Alexandrova in the quarter-final.

Fourth seed Madison Keys and sixth seed Jelena Ostapenko are the big guns in Section 2 of the draw with the two expected to meet in the last eight.

Keys opens up against either Emma Navarro or Maria Mateas while Ostapenko faces Marta Kostyuk or Stacey Fung, but there are some big names in the section as 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin and 2021 US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez could pose problems.

World No 9 Sakkari kicks off her campaign against Iryna Shymanovich or Storm Hunter while she could face fifth seed Belinda Bencic in the quarter-final.

Bencic, though, has been handed a nightmare draw as she takes on either wildcard Ajla Tomljanovic – who is still nursing her way back after injury – or Taylor Townsend. If she gets through that then there is every chance she will face Sloane Stephens in the third round, although the American could face 11th seed Anastasia Potapova if she wins her opener against An Li.

Carole Garcia headlines Section 3 and the third seed faces Aliaksandra Sasnovich or Aranxta Rus first up while she could face former world No 1 Karolina Pliskova in the third round and Veronika Kudermetova in the quarters.

Seventh seed Kudermetova takes on either Renata Zarazua or Eugene Bouchard in the opening round. World No 218 Bouchard received a wildcard entry into the tournament in what will be her first main draw since the Madrid Open in April.

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