UNLIKE the men’s draw, there are no clear favourites in the women’s field which is quite unpredictable.
Defending champion Garbine Muguruza is not in the best of form and fitness, and the Spaniard last week pulled out of the Italian Open semifinal against eventual champion Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina with a neck injury.
Serena Williams’ absence due to her pregnancy has left the field wide open.
World No.1 Angelique Kerber is not a good clay-court player and it was quite evident when she lost to Estonian qualifier Anett Kontaveit in the second round in Italy last week.
Italian Open finalist Simona Halep could emerge as the dark horse. The Romanian had won in Madrid recently and also has the experience of competing in a Roland Garros final, when she lost to Maria Sharapova in 2014.
The Russian, who returned to competitive action from the drugs ban, has been denied a wild-card entry and that leaves the door open for the likes of Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova, Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska and ever-improving Briton Johanna Konta to eye their maiden Grand Slam victory.
Another player in the top 10, who could be a possible title contender in Paris, is Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina, who won the Italian Open last week. dsp