A look at the leading ladies ahead of the French Open


1 Serena Williams The American may have only won one French Open title but she will start the tournament as the favourite. She comes to Paris in imposing form but her history of failure in the French Open, it has been ten years since she made it to the semi finals, but it is still impossible to discount Williams, even with her recent injuries.

2 Maria Sharapova The defending champion will struggle if she meets Serena in the final given her inability to beat the top seed but if Williams falters in the early stages suddenly Sharapova looks like a solid bet to retain her crown.

3 Victoria Azarenka The Australian Open champion needs to be mentally strong in Paris but she is one of the few players on tour who does not fear going toe to toe with Serena. If she has the belief in her ability that she showed in Melbourne she will be contender. If however she continues to struggle mentally she could be an early casuallty.

4 Agnieszka Radwanksa The Pole’s game does not shape up well for the slow clay of Paris. She is a creative shot maker, and a Grand Slam finalist, who should be a solid contender at Wimbledon and the US Open but will be vulnerable to the power of Kvitova, Sharapova, Azarenka and Williams.

5 Sara Errani The Italian was a beaten finalist last year and has done well to maintain the form of 2012 so far this season so she could be a dark horse once again.

6 Li Na The former champion was beaten by Azarenka in the Melbourne final is a hit or miss player. She is likely to be an early casuality but could make a run through the final depending on her attitude during the fortnight.

7 Petra Kvitova The 2011 Wimbledon champion has the power to dominate opponents but hasn’t been able to come close to matching her Wimbeldon exploits. She needs a solid fortnight in Paris to build for the rest of the season.

8 Angelique Kerber The German gets everything from her talent but lacks the ability to be a Grand Slam champion.

9 Samantha Stosur A former finalist and US Open champion has a dangerous serve and forehand and has been prone to mental lapses far too often.

10 Caroline Wozniacki The former world number has gone from top seed to pretender in the space of 18 months. She needs to start making it through to the second week of Grand Slams if she is to reboot her career and build towards being a possible champion. Early matchup with Laura Robson could mean an early exit for the Dane.

11 Nadia Petrova The Russian has done superbly to return to form and her athletic ability will make her a tough out for any player in the second week.

12 Maria Kirilenko Has done magnificently well to rebuild her reputation. The versatile Russian has the game to matchup well at any Slam and will be a danger in Paris.

13 Marion Bartoli Always a contender on the clay of Paris the Frenchwoman is the outlier to the natives; she is at her best in Paris.

14 Ana Ivanovic The Serb, a former French champion, has the talent to be a major player. Her groundstrokes are as fierce as anybody but her mental strength is always a question mark.

15 Roberta Vinci The reigning doubles champion, with Erani, is flambouyant on court but lacks the weapons to be anything more than a mid round casualty.

16 Dominika Cibulkova A quarter finalist last year, when she beat Azarenka, is the type of player that none of the top seeds enjoy playing against. She chases down everything and has a strong forehand.

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