PARIS — Emma Raducanu has withdrawn from French Open qualifying and will instead focus on training for the grass and hard-court seasons.

The 21-year-old had been expected to try to fight her way through three rounds of qualifying at Roland Garros, as she famously did on her way to winning the U.S. Open in 2021.

But the British tennis player instead surprisingly pulled out of the clay-court tournament.

“It’s important for me to keep laying on the foundations and I will use the time to do a healthy block before the grass and subsequent hard-court seasons to give myself a chance to keep fit for the rest of the year," she said.

Raducanu entered the tournament using her protected ranking of 103 but she remains three spots outside the main draw and she was overlooked for a wild card.

She made a flying start to the clay-court season, beating French duo Caroline Garcia and Diane Parry to lead Britain into the Billie Jean King Cup Finals and then reaching the quarterfinals of the WTA event in Stuttgart.

Raducanu pushed Iga Swiatek in a last-eight loss but then put in a lackluster performance against Argentinian qualifier Maria Lourdes Carle in the opening round of the Madrid Open last month, citing exhaustion.

She has not played a match since, pulling out of this week’s WTA event in Strasbourg, but this latest withdrawal still comes as a big surprise.

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