French Open 2013: Women's Contenders Sure to Make a Deep Run at Roland Garros

Jesse Reed@@JesseReed78Correspondent IMay 21, 2013

ROME, ITALY - MAY 19:  Serena Williams of the USA holds the winners trophy after her straight sets victory against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in their final match during day eight of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia 2013 at the Foro Italico Tennis Centre  on May 19, 2013 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Heading into the 2013 French Open, there isn't a female player as red-hot as Serena Williams, who has won twice in a row at Madrid and in Rome. She hasn't just been winning of late, though—she's been utterly dominating her competition.

Williams isn't the only woman capable of winning at Roland Garros, however. 

The French Open is a brutally tough, two-week long tournament that tests players in every way possible. Not only do they need to be in top physical shape, but the women competing must be ready to control their emotions and mental faculties to conquer this high-profile event.

These women have what it takes to win the 2013 French Open.

Serena Williams

Williams absolutely breezed through her last two tournaments, losing just one set in 11 matches to win both clay-court events.

After her incredibly easy win over Victoria Azarenka in the final at the Rome Masters, Star Jones, who seems to be an ardent supporter of Williams, posted this message on Twitter:

Star Jones @StarJonesEsq

Game, Set, Match!!!!!! Awesome tennis 6-1, 6-3 @serenawilliams beats #Azarenka #ItalianOpen enroute to #FrenchOpen...bring on #rolandgarros

In 2013, Williams has yet to lose as single match on clay, posting a perfect record of 16-0. Her last loss on any surface came back in February when she lost to Marion Bartoli in Dubai. 

A strong right-handed player, Williams is unbeatable when she's on her game. She can take over matches with her dominant serve, which is the best in the world, and her ability to cover ground in a hurry makes her difficult to score against.

As good as Williams is playing right now, however, she hasn't won at Roland Garros since 2002—her first and only French Open title.

Maria Sharapova

Last year's French Open winner, Sharapova will certainly be in contention to win the event once again in 2013.

Sharapova had to withdraw from the Rome Masters due to illness. She expressed her frustration and apologized to her fans on her official Twitter account, but it appears the Russian superstar will be good to go at Roland Garros:

Maria Sharapova @MariaSharapova

I'm sorry for having to withdraw from the tournament this morning. Didn't recover after being sick last week and it got me again last night.

Maria Sharapova @MariaSharapova

Tah-DAH! Here is my #FrenchOpen dress and the team girls outfit that Genie is wearing @niketennis http://t.co/reVTApeoGd

She's won twice already this year—once on a hard court and once on indoor clay—but Williams has beaten Sharapova all three times the two have gone head to head.

Sharapova has been a mainstay in the latter rounds at Roland Garros the past nine years, making it to the quarterfinals or better six times.

Her game is better suited to hard and grass surfaces, but it's clear from last year's win and from her recent history that Sharapova is a force to be reckoned with on clay, as well. 

Victoria Azarenka

You wouldn't know it from her last match against Williams in the Rome Masters final, but Azarenka is a sleeper to win this year's French Open. 

After getting upset in the second round at the Madrid Open, Azarenka looked sharp throughout most of her last tournament in Rome, losing just one set in her first four matches before getting swept by Williams. 

She's won two singles titles already this year, and though her game is better suited to hard surfaces, she's made it to the quarterfinals at Roland Garros two of the last four years.

Should Azarenka come away with a victory at the French Open, she'll need to dial in her first serve and tighten up her return game.

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78


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