Fri, 23 Oct 2020

Raonic, Bencic withdraw from French Open

Field Level Media
25 Sep 2020, 04:19 GMT+10

Canadian tennis star Milos Raonic and Switzerland's Belinda Bencic withdrew from their respective 2020 French Open tournaments on Thursday.

The French Open, which begins on Sunday, traditionally starts in late May and ventures into June. This year is obviously different due to COVID-19 pandemic and the tournament is slated to start Sunday.

Earlier this month, Raonic expressed concern about the expected crowds at the French Open in Paris.

"The only thing that is of some concern to me is that it's going to be 20,000 fans," Raonic said during the U.S. Open. "... That to me is the biggest concern, especially seeing with the spikes that are going on throughout France right now."

Raonic was bounced in the second round of the U.S. Open. Last week, he was eliminated in the second round at the ATP Masters in Rome.

TSN's Mark Masters wrote on Twitter that Raonic's decision is "more a preventative move this year rather than an injury issue." The 29-year-old, who has not played at Roland Garros since 2017, is ranked 20th in the world.

Bencic, who is ranked 10th in the world, was bounced in straight sets during her second-round match in Rome. She received a bye in the first round.

Bencic's withdrawal means only six of the top 10 ranked women's players will compete at the French Open. Defending champion Ashleigh Barty (No. 1) of Australia, U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka (No. 3) and Bianca Andreescu (No. 7) of Canada are skipping the tournament.

--Field Level Media

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