While anticipating the announcement of the 2013 French Open draws on Friday, May 24, it is natural for tennis fans to ponder who other than Rafael Nadal or Serena Williams will be left standing at the end of Week 1.
Grand Slam aficionados are accustomed to the top-four men marching through the draw as they have done frequently over the past few seasons. But this year, Andy Murray is out at Roland Garros with a back injury. This means there may be a slight opening for a male "rising star" to break through.
The women’s results at Roland Garros have been anything but predictable since former world No. 1 Justine Henin retired from tennis for the first time in 2008.
Several of the winners since that time have been first-time Grand Slam champions like Ana Ivanovic in 2008, Francesca Schiavone in 2010 and Li Na in 2011. Others like Svetlana Kuznetsova in 2009 and Maria Sharapova in 2012 had won majors—but never on clay.
The women’s game at the French Open in 2013 will definitely provide an avenue for a "rising star" to make her mark.
After dissecting the field, five men and five women stand out—all up-and-comers. While not in the top 10, these young stars are hopefully closing in on higher rankings and a higher seeding at future events.
Because they have shown by their recent successes and past results that they are on the rise, these players have demonstrated potential to make it into Week 2 and beyond.