FRENCH OPEN 2019: Serena Williams tries again for 24th major | Inquirer Sports
Close  

FRENCH OPEN 2019: Serena Williams tries again for 24th major

/ 06:21 PM May 26, 2019
Serena Williams 2018 French Open

FILE – In this June 2, 2018, file photo, Serena Williams of the United States, returns a shot against Germany’s Julia Georges during their third round match at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

Women to watch at the French Open, where play begins Sunday:

___

ADVERTISEMENT

NAOMI OSAKA

Ranked: 1

FEATURED STORIES

Country: Japan

Age: 21

2019 Match Record: 19-5

2019 Singles Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 3

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 2 — Australian Open (2019), U.S. Open (2018)

Last 5 French Opens: 2018-Lost in 3rd Round, 2017-1st, 2016-3rd, 2015-Did Not Play, 2014-DNP

ADVERTISEMENT

Aces: After going only 5-4 on clay last year, heads to Paris with a 7-1 mark on the surface in 2019. … Withdrew with injuries from tournaments in Stuttgart (abdominal muscle) and Rome (thumb).

Topspin: Big hitting carried her to two Grand Slam titles in a row on hard courts. Clay presents different challenges.

___

SIMONA HALEP

Ranked: 3

Country: Romania

Age: 27

2019 Match Record: 23-8

2019 Singles Titles: 0

Career Singles Titles: 18

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 1 — French Open (2018)

Last 5 French Opens: 2018-Won Championship, 2017-Runner-Up, 2016-4th, 2015-2nd, 2014-RU

Aces: Among the WTA’s top 10 in break points converted and first-serve percentage in 2019. … Pulled out of Italian Open with hamstring problem, but said she was sure she’d be OK for Paris.

Topspin: Tries to defend a Grand Slam title for the first time. Her movement and defense-to-offense skills have carried her to three of the past five finals at Roland Garros.

___

KIKI BERTENS

Ranked: 4

Country: Netherlands

Age: 27

2019 Match Record: 26-10

2019 Singles Titles: 2

Career Singles Titles: 9

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 0 — Best: SF, French Open (2016)

Last 5 French Opens: 2018-3rd, 2017-2nd, 2016-SF, 2015-1st, 2014-4th

Aces: Ranks in the tour’s top two in aces and service points won this season. … Hit 20 aces in one match. … At past three clay events, went semifinals-title-semifinals.

Topspin: Has the game and the confidence to go far in Paris. Many in tennis think she is ready to play well deep into the second week at a major tournament.

___

PETRA KVITOVA

Ranked: 6

Country: Czech Republic

Age: 29

2019 Match Record: 28-8

2019 Singles Titles: 2

Career Singles Titles: 27

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 2 — Wimbledon (2011, 2014)

Last 5 French Opens: 2018-3rd, 2017-2nd, 2016-3rd, 2015-4th, 2014-3rd

Aces: Pulled out of Rome with a left calf issue. … Is third on tour in aces this year, but also has hit by far the most double-faults.

Topspin: Since getting to the 2012 semifinals at Roland Garros, only has been past the third round once. Her strong lefty strokes and recent form on clay could mean that changes this year.

___

SLOANE STEPHENS

Ranked: 7

Country: United States

Age: 26

2019 Match Record: 14-9

2019 Singles Titles: 0

Career Singles Titles: 6

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 1 — U.S. Open (2017)

Last 5 French Opens: 2018-RU, 2017-DNP, 2016-3rd, 2015-4th, 2014-4th

Aces: Recently hired coach Sven Groeneveld, who has worked with such past French Open champions as Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic.

Topspin: Run to last year’s final in Paris showed that Stephens is capable of winning a Grand Slam championship on clay to go with her hard-court title from the U.S. Open.

___

ASH BARTY

Ranked: 8

Country: Australia

Age: 23

2019 Match Record: 24-5

2019 Singles Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 4

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 0 — Best: QF, Australian Open (2019)

Last 5 French Opens: 2018-2nd, 2017-1st, 2016-DNP, 2015-DNP, 2014-1st

Aces: After going 1-6 against top-10 opponents in 2018, she is 6-4 in those matches in 2019. … Played cricket while away from the tour for nearly two years after the 2014 U.S. Open.

Topspin: After major breakthroughs at the Australian Open in January and when she collected the title at the Miami Open in March, seems poised to show big improvement on her 2-5 career record at the French Open.

___

SERENA WILLIAMS

Ranked: 10

Country: United States

Age: 37

2019 Match Record: 7-2

2019 Singles Titles: 0

Career Singles Titles: 72

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 23 — French Open (2002, 2013, 2015), Australian Open (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2017), Wimbledon (2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016), U.S. Open (1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014)

Last 5 French Opens: 2018-4th, 2017-DNP, 2016-RU, 2015-W, 2014-2nd

Aces: Back in the top 10 this year after dropping out of the top 400 while away from the tour to have a baby. … After missing about 1½ years of majors, reached two Grand Slam finals in 2018. … Pulled out of last two tournaments because of injured left knee.

Topspin: Comes to Paris with only one clay-court match since last year’s French Open. There’s also uncertainty about the status of her knee. So while she’s always considered a favorite, no matter the site or surface, when she is healthy, it is hard to know what to expect from her this time around.

Get the hottest sports news straight into your inbox


Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Ash Barty, French Open, Grand Slam, Kiki Bertens, Naomi Osaka, Petra Kvitova, Serena Williams, Simona Halep, Sloane Stephens, Tennis
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.