As the 2011 French Open gets underway next week, the women’s field remains wide open. There is no clear cut favorite for the title.
In fact, there has never been a true favorite heading into Paris since Justine Henin announced her first retirement from tennis in 2008. The champions crowned in Henin’s absence have been great surprises––like Ana Ivanovic in 2008, Svetlana Kuznetsova in 2009 and Francesca Schiavone in 2010.
The good news for tennis fans is that Kim Clijsters will be returning to action in Paris with her ankle severely taped. The Belgian, however, will not have the needed warm-up time on the clay to give her adequate preparation for a win in Paris.
In addition to the top 10 women listed in our power ranking, there are other players who merit our attention as we get ready to crown another French Open champion in 2011. These “also to be watched” players are as follows:
Kim Clijsters can never be discounted at any major tournament regardless of her physical injuries. As the winner of the last two slams at the 2011 Australia Open and at the 2010 U.S. Open, Clijsters will be looking to win this French Open crown. This remains a title that has eluded her in the past.
Svetlana Kuznetsova won the French Open title in 2009 and has the game to win the title again. After her campaign in Marbella where the Russian made the semifinals, Kuznetsova has not fared well on the clay. She will definitely be looking to improve on the grounds at Stade Roland Garros.
Ana Ivanovic has done nothing to suggest that she can win the French Open title again. Still, as a former champion, she has to be considered as a dark horse coming in because she knows exactly what it takes to win it all on clay. Everyone hopes to see the Serbian beauty win in Paris, but the odds are not in her favor this year.
Andrea Petkovic is another of the surging German women who has been making a name for herself on the World stage in tennis. Although Petkovic has not done well on the clay, she is a dangerous player with the potential to do well on any surface.
Our top 10 rankings are based on the four most recent tournament results and the WTA ranking points awarded. The points are aged with the most recent receiving the most points. Following are the top 10 women poised to win at Roland Garros starting Monday in Paris.
JA Allen, Marianne Bevis and Ronger Fengerer write the Power Ranking series. Please also check out the latest men's tennis power rankings by clicking here.