Leading French Open women’s contenders

HOW THE LEADING WOMEN SHAPE UP FOR THE 2016 FRENCH OPEN

SERENA WILLIAMS (USA)

Age: 34

Ranking: 1

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US76,467,915 ($A104.33 million)

Career titles: 70

Grand slam titles: 21 (Australian Open 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2105; French Open 2002, 2013, 2015; Wimbledon 2002-03, 2009-10, 2012, 2015; US Open 1999, 2002, 2008, 2012-2014)

French Open win-loss record: 54-11

Best French Open results: champion 2002, 2013, 2015

Just as the doubters began to emerge, the world No.1 broke her nine-month title drought in Rome to confirm her favouritism for a third Roland Garros crown in four years.

AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA (POL)

Age: 27

Ranking: 2

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US22,952,954 ($A31.32 million)

Career titles: 18

Grand slam titles: 0

French Open win-loss record: 18-9

Best French Open result: quarter-finalist 2013

The Roland Garros under-achiever has never been a factor in Paris but the former Wimbledon runner-up remains the most accomplished player on tour yet to win a major and can’t be dismissed.

ANGELIQUE KERBER

Age: 28

Ranking: 3

Plays: left-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US12,351,727 ($A16.85 million)

Career titles: 9

Grand slam titles: 1 (Australian Open 2016)

French Open win-loss record: 13-8

Best French Open result: quarter-finalist 2012

The big-hitting German proved her grand slam bona fides with her stirring Australian Open triumph and has continued her breakout season on clay with title success last month in Stuttgart.

GARBINE MUGURUZA (ESP)

Age: 22

Ranking: 4

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US6,641,863 ($A9.06 million)

Career titles: 2

Grand slam titles: 0

French Open win-loss record: 9-3

Best French Open results: quarter-finalist 2014, 2015

The exciting young Spaniard has had a modest season to date but the 2015 Wimbledon finalist’s undoubted pedigree and impressive record at Roland Garros suggests she’ll be a major threat.

VICTORIA AZARENKA (BLR)

Age: 26

Ranking: 5

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US28,212,129 ($A38.49 million)

Career titles: 20

Grand slam titles: 2 (Australian Open 2012, 2013)

French Open win-loss record: 21-9

Best French Open result: semi-finalist 2013

The former world No.1 has regained her rightful place among the rankings elite with a three-title season and looms as Williams’ greatest danger despite clay remaining her least successful surface.

SIMONA HALEP (ROM)

Age: 24

Ranking: 6

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US12,559,906 ($A17.14 million)

Career titles: 12

Grand slam titles: 0

French Open win-loss record: 8-6

Best French Open result: finalist 2014

The former runner-up is peaking nicely for the claycourt showpiece, collecting her first title of the year with a dominant run in Madrid. A long overdue major would be nothing but deserved after three years knocking on the door.

BEST OUTSIDER

SLOANE STEPHENS (USA)

Age: 23

Ranking: 21

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US3,956,272 ($A5.40 million)

Career titles: 4

Grand slam titles: 0

French Open win-loss record: 12-5

Best French Open results: fourth round 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

Long touted as Serena’s successor, the American is enjoying her finest season, accruing an equal-tour-best three titles including a first on clay in Charleston, and looks primed for another second-week tilt.

BEST AUSTRALIAN HOPES

SAMANTHA STOSUR

Age: 32

Ranking: 23

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US15,566,275 ($A21.24 million)

Career titles: 8

Grand slam titles: 1 (US Open 2011)

French Open win-loss record: 29-12

Best French Open result: finalist 2010

After a Fed Cup flop on her favoured surface, the classy claycourter has roared back to life with charges to the Stuttgart title decider and Madrid semi-finals and is more than capable of another deep run in Paris.

DARIA GAVRILOVA

Age: 22

Ranking: 45

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US1,186,267 ($A1.62 million)

Career titles: 0

Grand slam titles: 0

French Open win-loss record: 1-1

Best French Open result: second round 2015

The 2015 WTA Newcomer of the Year and former world junior No.1 loves the clay but missed a first-time grand slam seeding after failing to defend semi-final rankings points in Rome.

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