The second Grand Slam in tennis is set to begin on Sunday. The French Open from Roland Garros in Paris effectively launches the tennis campaign into summer.
Li Na took home the Australian Open title back in January, and Stanislas Wawrinka emerged as the victor from the men's side.
Both are in the field for the French Open, but neither is the favorite. Let's talk about the ways to follow the action as well as the top contenders on both sides.
Where: Roland Garros, Paris, France
When: Sunday, May 25, through Sunday, June 8, 2014
Television: ESPN, Tennis Channel
Live Stream: ESPN3.com
The King of Clay
Having won eight of the last nine French Open titles, Rafael Nadal is the favorite to win his ninth trophy at the tournament.
It could be argued that Nadal is the greatest clay-court player in history. Only Bjorn Borg can boast a resume that compares to what Nadal has done on the soft stuff.
According to Oddschecker, Nadal is listed as a 6-4 favorite to hoist the La Coupe des Mousquetaires.
He has a remarkable 59-1 career record at the tournament and is clearly the man to beat this year. Nadal talked about his love for Roland Garros in an interview with Sean Gregory of Time magazine.
I always like to play on this beautiful surface that gives you an opportunity to attack, an opportunity to defend. I like this thing. I understand the sport this way. It needs strategy, it needs suffering, it needs good possibilities to make the game interesting, no?
Yes it does, Rafa. And you have delivered all of that and more.
Forever a Threat
One of Rafa's biggest threats on any surface is always Novak Djokovic. Though Djokovic has never beaten Nadal at Roland Garros (0-5), he has managed to win four of the other 12 meetings on clay.
In fact, Djokovic scored a three-set win over Nadal in Rome in the final of the Italian Open earlier this month.
That win should provide Djokovic with a boost of confidence, but Rome is not Roland Garros. Can Djokovic overthrow the king at the French Open?
As much as Nadal is loved in France, Djokovic could be the sentimental favorite worldwide. He recently donated his entire earnings from his triumph at the Italian Open to Serbian flood relief, per ESPN.com. The act went far from unnoticed.
Check out the responses from an athletic rival and major film star.
Roger Federer is the only man to interrupt Nadal's string of French Open titles since the Spaniard began his dominance at Roland Garros.
Federer captured the title in 2009.
Over the course of their careers, Nadal has dominated Fed, winning 70 percent of the head-to-head meetings.
Federer has never defeated Nadal at the French Open (0-2), and he's just 2-13 against him on clay. Despite proving he's still an elite player over the last three years, he shouldn't be considered a major threat to win the title in 2014.
Williams' dominance spans all major tournaments. She's won 17 Grand Slam titles, capturing the French Open title last year and in 2002. It's safe to say, if Serena is on her game, no woman in the world can beat her.
Two Slams for Li
Don't sleep on the Aussie Open champion's chances to win her second French Open and her second Grand Slam of the year.
She is the world No. 2 for a reason. Li won the French Open back in 2011, and with an Aussie Open title under her belt, she should be confident heading into Roland Garros.
If someone finds a way to upset Williams, Li should become the major favorite to win.
Despite the fact that Maria Sharapova's odds to win the title are at 6-1, she has had issues winning Grand Slams recently. She hasn't won a major since she captured the French Open in 2012, but she is 12-1 thus far in the clay-court season.
Though it makes sense on paper for Sharapova to be amongst the favorites, her recent history in Grand Slams suggest she'll take a tumble before she reaches the final.