SYDNEY (AP) Tennis Australia said Friday that Alex de Minaur has been given Australia’s reciprocal wild card into the French Open starting on May 27.
De Minaur, 19, has improved his ATP ranking by almost half in 2018 to move to No. 106, nearly qualifying him for the main draw.
In January, he advanced to the semifinals of the Brisbane International and the Sydney International final before losing in the first round of the Australian Open to Tomas Berdych.
“Alex has put in some quality performances over the past six months and it’s a great effort to be only a handful of places out of main draw …” Australian Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt said.
De Minaur, a former Wimbledon junior runner-up, joins fellow Australians Nick Kyrgios, John Millman, Matt Ebden and Jordan Thompson in the French Open men’s main draw. Thanasi Kokkinakis, injury permitting, and Bernard Tomic plan to play in the qualifying tournament.
Australia has four players currently in the women’s main draw, headed by seeded players Ashleigh Barty and Daria Gavrilova, 2010 runner-up Samantha Stosur and Ajla Tomljanovic.
The Australian women’s wild card will be determined next week in a qualifying playoff in Paris.
ASTANA, Kazakhstan — Carlos Alcaraz’s first match as the No. 1-ranked player ended with a straight-set loss to David Goffin at the Astana Open.
The 19-year-old Spaniard lost 7-5, 6-3 in his first tour match since winning the U.S. Open and capturing the No. 1 ranking.
“David was playing really, really well. To come back to competition is never easy,” Alcaraz said. “It’s really tough for me, for my confidence.”
Alcaraz came from 5-2 down to level the first set at 5-5, only to be broken again by his Belgian opponent.
“When you play against the World No. 1 on a big stage, big crowd, the fire inside gives you so much power to play your best tennis because you don’t have any choice,” Goffin said. “You have to fight and give your best and that was the case today.”
Second-seeded Daniil Medvedev and No. 3-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas both avoided similar upsets. Medvedev beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain 6-3, 6-1 and Tsitsipas ousted Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3. 6-4.
OSTRAVA, Czech Republic — Fifth-seeded Daria Kasatkina defeated 2021 U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu 7-5, 6-4 to advance to the second round of the Agel Open.
Kasatkina was playing her first match since losing in the first round of the U.S. Open and will next face Ekaterina Alexandrova.
Sixth-seeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland rallied to eliminate former top-five player Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 6-7 (7), 6-1, while Aliaksandra Sasnovich upset eighth-seeded Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 6-2.
American qualifiers Alycia Parks and Catherine McNally both advanced. Parks upset Czech Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 7-6 (3) and McNally eased past Anna Blinkova 6-1, 6-2 at the indoor hardcourt event in the Czech eastern city of Ostrava.