PARIS, France - Former Duke tennis All-America Michael Yani qualified for the main draw of the French Open with a straight set win over Brazil's Ricardo Hocevar on Friday at Roland Garros.
"To qualify for the French Open is something totally unexpected since the red clay doesn't really suit my game style," said Yani. "Having said that, I would say this is one of the most rewarding accomplishments of my life. I'm almost as much shocked as I am excited."
Yani is ranked No. 152 in singles and cruised to a 6-2 win in the first set against Hocevar, the No. 201 player in the world. Yani took a 5-0 lead in the second set before Hocevar rattled off three straight games to make it 5-3. However, Yani followed by clinching a spot in his third career Grand Slam event.
Last year Yani qualified for his first two career Grand Slam events, playing in Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
"I have qualified for three of the last four slams, so I am really pumped up right now," Yani said.
To qualify for a spot in the French Open main draw, Yani had to win three matches. Earlier in the week he started with a 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 6-1 win over No. 172 Juan Pablo Brzezicki of Argentina. He then advanced to the second round of qualifying to defeat No. 171 Diego Junqueira of Argentina in straight sets by a 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) count.
The main draw at Roland Garros will begin on Sunday. Fans can follow Yani's run at www.rolandgarros.com.