French tennis: famous for hosting the only major held on clay, for producing gifted and emotional shotmakers, for...the hotties? Not so much.
Not to say that the Gallic region hasn't produced its share of tennis knockouts. From a former French Open champ to to a young standout at this year's edition of Roland Garros, I count down the top 10 hottest French players in history.
The Deal: Rezai had a breakout year in 2010, rising to No. 15 in the world, capturing a big title in Madrid (beating Venus Williams in the final) and reaching the third round at her home Slam, the French Open (losing a heartbreaker to Nadia Petrova).
Ever since getting to the quarterfinals of a small tournament in Italy last summer, though, the Frenchwoman has failed to string two consecutive match wins together—that's almost a year without back-to-back victories.
Why She's Hot: Rezai's got an exotic mix of French and Iranian ancestry. She also hits the ball harder than anyone on tour—a sexy quality in itself, but with a wickedly primal grunt to go along. Slump or no slump, she still definitely ranks in this Top 10.
The Deal: Pin hung up her rackets for good last year, but not before reaching a couple of WTA semifinals and pushing eventual finalist Maria Sharapova 9-7 in the third at the 2007 Australian Open.
Why She's Hot: Pin has a similar look to countrywoman and Casino Royale star Eva Green. She also clearly loves holding big things in her hands...
The Deal: Mladenovic (yeah, she's got some Serbian heritage) won the French Open girls title a couple years ago.
While she's yet to have her big break on the WTA circuit, the 5'11" teenager is armed with a huge serve and booming groundies—she just needs to find some consistency.
Why She's Hot: Long legs. Blond hair. Bright future ahead. 'Nuff said. And if you're into gap teeth, Mladenovic is your girl.
The Deal: While Pierce never "officially" retired, the 36-year-old hasn't played competitively since rupturing a ligament in her left knee during a horrible on-court spill back in '06.
The two-time major winner was born in Canada and was based in Florida—yet claimed French citizenry.
But as fickle as the French were to accept her as one of their own, they couldn't have embraced Pierce more when she triumphed at her "home" Slam back in 2000.
Why She's Hot: Even though this pic was snapped years ago, Pierce's bronzed skin and long dirty-blond ponytail rivaled even Kournikova's during her illustrious touring days.
The Deal: Beltrame reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in '06 (losing to eventual finalist Justine Henin) and the fourth round of the U.S. Open in '08 (losing to eventual winner Serena Williams), but an injury suffered against Victoria Azarenka in the first round of Wimby a couple years ago really set her back.
Why She's Hot: Beltrame's got a stunning figure and gleaming blue eyes that I got to see first-hand at Wimbledon in '07—pictures don't really do her justice.
She also just got divorced...wonder if she's looking for a young American stud to shack up with...
The Deal: Sanchez got up to No. 90 in the world back in '08, her career high ranking. The Parisian native also reached the second round of her hometown Grand Slam that same year, replicating the feat at the 2010 tournament.
Why She's Hot: Besides a cute face and smokin' legs, Sanchez (clearly) has a great sense about how to dress on court.
The Deal: Garcia, just 17, reached the second round of this year's Australian Open in her first ever main-draw WTA event. She followed it up this past week as a Roland Garros wildcard, again reaching the second round—falling to Maria Sharapova after holding a 6-3, 4-1 lead.
Garcia's monstrous groundstrokes during her clash with Sharapova garnered so much attention that Andy Murray fired off a Tweet about how the teen would someday be the world's top player.
Why She's Hot: Garcia's dad is French, but her mom is Spanish—how do you like that mix? Plus, you gotta love a girl who comes out playing fearless tennis in her first match against a Top 10 player.
The Deal: Johansson is currently having her best season to date, cementing herself in the Top 100 of the women's rankings and reaching her first Tour final in Colombia. In years past, she's played top stars like Serena Williams and Svetlana Kuznetsova tough.
The Deal: Lim has made slow-but-steady progress up the rankings since she turned pro back in '08, and is currently lingering somewhere in the 250s.
But the 20-year-old was awarded a wildcard (alongside Victoria Larriere) into this year's French Open doubles draw, where she and her partner fell in the first round to the No. 6 seeds.
Why She's Hot: Whether bouncing a ball, hitting a ball or just striking a cheesy tennis pose, Lim looks downright stunning. And none of those activities are easy to be sexy at. Especially the hitting part...
The Deal: Golovin's had one of the most bizarre professional stories in recent memory. After bursting onto the scene in '04, she had a few solid couple years of Top 25 tennis before really turning it on in '07.
Then, in '08, the injury-prone Golovin came down with an ailment she couldn't recover from—lower-back inflammation.
She played her last match that spring in Berlin (against the now-No.1-ranked Caroline Wozniacki), and hasn't been seen since. Except, of course, in that Sports Illustrated shoot...
Why She's Hot: Besides her tan skin/blond hair combo, her killer body and her sexy smile (my top three criteria), Golovin wasn't afraid during her career to show a little skin on the court—and off of it.
She also even dared to violate Wimbledon's all-white rule with some risque red "knickers"—to which I have to say...
COME BACK Tatiana!