2021 French Open: Presenting the top women's singles contenders
The 2021 French Open is set to start from May 30 onwards at Roland Garros. Like the majority of Grand Slams, the uncertainty of picking a favorite in the women's singles remains. 2020 French Open winner Iga Swiatek will be keen to defend her crown. The youngster isn't the only one among the top players to have a go. We highlight the key contenders.
World number one Ashleigh Barty won the 2019 French Open crown and will be aiming to lift her second Slam title. She has a win-loss record of 9-5 at Roland Garros. She skipped last year's event due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has since then claimed three titles, besides extending her winning streak on red clay to 17 matches.
World number two Naomi Osaka is chasing her maiden Grand Slam honor at the Roland Garros. Her best effort here has been three third-round appearances. Osaka missed last year's French Open and will need to be at her best in order to win a fifth career Slam. She hasn't yet claimed a WTA title at clay and this could be the perfect opportunity.
World number four Aryna Sabalenka will hope to make things count as she chases a maiden Grand Slam title. Sabalenka will be confident especially after having beaten Barty earlier this month to win the Madrid Open. One aspect Sabalenka needs to battle is her inconsistency. She cannot afford a lapse in concentration in the crucial matches against the best players.
19-year-old Iga Swiatek, who is ranked nine, will aim to add to her three career titles. Recently, the Polish international emerged victorious at the Italian Open, beating Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 6-0 in straight sets. Swiatek has a 10-1 record at Roland Garros and had reached the fourth round in the 2019 French Open. The teenage sensation can be counted upon to defend her title.
23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams may not be in the best of form, but she remains one of the high-profile contenders. Serena is chasing an elusive 24th career singles Slam title to equal Margaret Court's record. Her last Grand Slam win came in 2017 and since then she has made it to four finals. Recently, she made early exits from Rome and Parma.