2024 Internationaux de Strasbourg Preview as Danielle Collins, Marketa Vondrousova and Elina Svitolina lead Roland Garros pre-cursor

Sunday, 19 May 2024 at 00:30
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The Internationaux de Strasbourg is due to take place between May 19-25 in the final action before the 2024 French Open and a usual stop off which has gleamed some champions in the past in Paris including Barbora Krejcikova.
Krejcikova will return albeit she has had a myriad of illness issues over the past 18 months. Elina Svitolina who had match points against Aryna Sabalenka in Rome will look to put that disappointment behind her. She is defending champion and will technically lead the field.
An important block on her road to being the Comeback Player of the Year last year, she has since starred in every Grand Slam tournament she has played and really become a better version even than before becoming a mother. It mainly started with a fairytale run in Strasbourg. Anna Blinkova who she defeated in the final has decided instead to play Rabat. But Strasbourg has also suffered this year from big name withdrawals.

Pegula not ready for return, Raducanu chooses qualifying

A lot of clamour especially from an American end surrounded Strasbourg with all but Coco Gauff out of the top American contingent from Jessica Pegula down to Emma Navarro all entering Strasbourg. The WTA 500 was set to welcome Pegula for her first tournament since Charleston.
But perhaps as expected, she decided against playing this next week. The story of Pegula is a slightly puzzling one. From being one of the most consistent players on the WTA Tour who was barely out to having a neck injury, health issues and now another setback in terms of injury. She played Billie Jean King Cup alongside Emma Navarro in early April with both seemingly carrying small injuries that weren't disclosed initially.
Navarro since has returned and is in the final of the Trophee´ Clarins in Paris. A tournament that she has been utterly dominant in. She will play Strasbourg this week but she has used lower level to bounce back. A chance that can't really be afforded to a player of Pegula's status. She said she has returned to training. But at a snails pace and Roland Garros is unlikely at this point. Especially given if she was in Paris the week before, she would presumably play Strasbourg. But it meant that the tournament had to think quick on their feet.
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Marketa Vondrousova was technically a replacement for Jessica Pegula after a late withdrawal.
Marketa Vondrousova, the current World No.6 was the next player on the list likely called after she lost in the second round to Sorana Cirstea in Rome. She now leads the field and will face Sloane Stephens or a qualifier in the second round. Emma Raducanu albeit as a wildcard was another big name in the field.
But she herself decided to withdraw from the tournament. In a move that wasn't a huge shock given that she wasn't guaranteed a spot at the French Open as it is. She will likely have to play qualifying with uncertainty about whether players will withdraw. She has been in Paris over the past week and presumably would only play Strasbourg in event of a wildcard or a slew of withdrawals meaning she could play without qualifying.
A bit of a bizarre move from the start from Raducanu especially given that a name of her ilk would likely be able to seal a wildcard to Strasbourg or Rabat late on without needing to enter so early. Karolina Pliskova was among the late entrants for instance.

Collins, Svitolina and Keys lead field

Whilst Pegula and Raducanu will not play over the next week in Strasbourg, it is a field that is full of quality and apt for a WTA 500 tournament. Danielle Collins for instance who has been one of the best players in the WTA in recent months will be part of the field. She won Miami and Charleston back-to-back. Her only losses as of late have come to Aryna Sabalenka, the current World No.2. So very much one of the favourites this week.
Some thought that she may decide to skip the tournament given that she reached the latter stages in Rome, but she hasn't and as of time of writing will be playing next week in Strasbourg. She is also joined like alluded to by the defending champion in Elina Svitolina as well as Collins' compatriot in Madison Keys.
Beatriz Haddad Maia is technically second seed and could face Navarro or Cornet in the second round. Liudmila Samsonova could face Leylah Fernandez or Barbora Krejcikova. Ekaterina Alexandrova, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Anna Kalinskaya are also among the main names who will play in France.
Previous winners include Maria Sharapova with Lindsay Davenport (1995-1996), Steffi Graf (1997), Jennifer Capriati (1999) also among the ex World No.1's who have sealed the tournament. Svitolina has won it twice sealing it in 2020 too with Dayana Yastremska, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Caroline Garcia and Sam Stosur also among prior winners. Alize Cornet is in her final year and is also a former champion. So a whole list of top names who won it prior to its reconception as well as in recent years. As well as some such as Elena Rybakina who didn't win it but lost in finals. A tournament that is well known for producing some great champions. Who will be crowned this week?

Previous Winners - Internationaux de Strasbourg

2010 Maria Sharapova d. Kristina Barrois 7–5, 6–1
2011 Andrea Petkovic d. Marion Bartoli 6–4, 1–0 ret.
2012 Francesca Schiavone d. Alizé Cornet 6–4, 6–4
2013 Alizé Cornet d. Lucie Hradecká 7–6(7–4), 6–0
2014 Monica Puig d. Sílvia Soler Espinosa 6–4, 6–3
2015 Samantha Stosur d. Kristina Mladenovic 3–6, 6–2, 6–3
2016 Caroline Garcia d. Mirjana Lučić-Baroni 6–4, 6–1
2017 Samantha Stosur (2) d. Daria Gavrilova 5–7, 6–4, 6–3
2018 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova d. Dominika Cibulková 6–7(5–7), 7–6(7–3), 7–6(8–6)
2019 Dayana Yastremska d. Caroline Garcia 6–4, 5–7, 7–6(7–3)
2020 Elina Svitolina d. Elena Rybakina 6–4, 1–6, 6–2
2021 Barbora Krejčíková d. Sorana Cîrstea 6–3, 6–3
2022 Angelique Kerber d. Kaja Juvan 7–6(7–5), 6–7(0–7), 7–6(7–5)

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