Contenders: Who is most likely to win the women’s crown at Roland Garros?
The women’s competition at the French Open looks more open than ever, but who are the main contenders?
The women’s game has been waiting for someone to truly step up to the top and take Serena Williams’ mantle and they appear to have finally found it in Halep.
The 26-year-old Romanian isn’t anywhere near as dominant as Williams but no one may ever be again. What she has shown she has, though, is consistency.
She is also coming into the French Open with momentum after a fine performance in Italy.
She lost to Elina Svitolina in the final there but leaving Naomi Osaka, Madison Keys, Caroline Garcia, and Maria Sharapova in her wake was some feat.
She’s been a finalist at Roland Garros twice before and the world number one may be primed to finally get that first Grand Slam title and cement herself in place as Williams’ successor.
With Caroline Wozniacki completely out of her comfort zone on clay, it could be Svitolina to once again prove to be the scourge of Halep.
The Ukrainian has never been further than the quarter finals of a Grand Slam but the French Open is where she has looked most likely to achieve something special.
The problem with Svitolina is that we’ve been here before. She gathers momentum, makes you think she’s a contender for the biggest titles and then tends to flunk them.
Could this year’s Roland Garros finally be the time she cracks the Grand Slam code?
Kvitova is a two-time Wimbledon champion so we know she can go the distance at Grand Slams.
She’s been all the way to the semi-finals at Roland Garros too, so we know she’s capable on clay as well.
She’s in brilliant form on the red too, winning both the Prague Open and Madrid Open in the last month.
However, doubts still remain over her hand following the knife attack at her home last year and she almost needs to prove herself all over again.
Still, what a story it would be if the French Open could provide the backdrop to that.
As a former French Open semi-finalist, Pliskova has a proven pedigree on clay.
Similarly, as a former US Open champion, her Grand Slam prowess is also not in doubt.
She’s in excellent form and had a nine-game win streak snapped in the semi-finals at Madrid by Kvitova. That said, she was very disappointing in Rome, losing to the world number 42 Maria Sakkari in her opening match.
Still, she is undoubtedly a contender, and recent wins over Jelena Ostapenko, Halep, and Sloane Stephens just highlights her quality.
Bertens is the world number 18 and is seeded 18 at the French Open, so she won’t be getting an easy ride at any given point really.
Neither is she usually involved in the discussion when it comes to potential Grand Slam winners.
However, Bertens is a true clay court specialist and massive competitor in the red dirt.
She was a Roland Garros semi-finalist in 2016 and no woman has won more matches in the current clay-court season with Wozniacki, Sharapova, and Garcia all falling to her in recent weeks.
Definitely one to watch.
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