Boulter withdraws from French Open

Paris, May 25 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 5/25/2019 11:41:28 AM IST

British No 3 Katie Boulter has withdrawn from the French Open after aggravating a back injury.

The 22-year-old suffered the problem whilst playing for Great Britain in their historic Fed Cup victory against Kazakhstan in April.

Boulter was drawn against 23rd seed Donna Vekic from Croatia but arrived in Paris on Friday to pull out of the tournament.

Her inclusion raised eyebrows due to previously being ruled out for the whole clay season but a social media video of herself on Thursday at the National Tennis Centre hinted that she could return.

By withdrawing on site, Boulter was able to collect half the prize money she would have earned for a first-round defeat, approximately £20,000.

This rule was introduced at grand slams last year to prevent players with an injury retiring during their first-round match in order to collect their appearance fee.

She was due to make her first appearance at Roland Garros after her fine form in the past year allowed her to gain automatic qualification to the tournament. Boulter wrote on Twitter: “So disappointed to have to pull out of the French Open. I was still hoping to have a chance of competing but doctors have advised me not to take a risk with my back. Can’t wait to get back on court soon.”

Johanna Konta will be the only British female in the main draw at Roland Garros after both Katie Swan and Heather Watson crashed out in qualifying.

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