Tennis

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Sporting royals gallery Members of the world's royal families often compete in sports, occasionally at very high levels. /tennis/lists/royal-family-members-competing-in-sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/10/20/kate_20131020023241179_136_102.JPG
Biggest choke jobs in sports Infamous chokers gallery /nhl/lists/Infamous-sports-chokers http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/09/26/New-Zealand-sailing-fan_20130926040909882_136_102.JPG
Rafael Nadal's Grand Slam wins Take a look back at all of Rafael Nadal's Grand Slam wins. /tennis/lists/rafael-nadal-grand-slam-wins http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/06/24/Rafael-Nadal-of-Spain_20130624132446484_136_102.JPG
Serena Williams' Grand Slam wins Serena Williams' Grand Slam wins /tennis/lists/tennis-serena-williams-grand-slam-wins http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/09/09/Serena-Williams_20130909121659181_136_102.JPG
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Tennis 199 43 French Open: Women's players to watch 31768213 Serena Williams Serena+Williams Tennis

Current ranking: 1
2012 result: First round
Best finish at French: Champion, 2002


It was a year ago when Serena Williams drew gasps with a first-round exit in Paris. But that day clearly served as her wake-up call. Williams showed up in London on a mission, winning Wimbledon, Olympic gold and the US Open in quick succession. In fact, she's only lost four matches (one a withdrawl because of a back injury) since that alarm went off at Roland Garros last May and will look to improve upon her current career-best 24-match win streak. What do you say, Serena? Ready for your first French Open title in 11 years? We are.

Clive Mason - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/05/21/ladiesofclay1_20130521125939255_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/05/21/ladiesofclay1_20130521125939255_107_80.JPG
Tennis 199 43 French Open: Women's players to watch 31768212 Maria Sharapova Maria+Sharapova Tennis

Current ranking: 2
2012 result: Champion
Best finish at French: Champion, 2012
 

Defending champion Sharapova has just two obstacles in Paris: Her health and Serena Williams — against whom she's lost 12 straight matches, including the recent Madrid final. Sharapova withdrew from play in Rome, citing a lingering illness. Even if she is fully recovered when the first ball is tossed in Paris, that still leaves Serena standing in her way of repeating at Roland Garros.

Clive Brunskill - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/05/21/ladiesofclay2_20130521125940256_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/05/21/ladiesofclay2_20130521125940256_107_80.JPG
Tennis 199 43 French Open: Women's players to watch 31768210 Sara Errani Sara+Errani Tennis

Current ranking: 5
2012 result: Final
Best finish at French: Final, 2012


In 2012 the little Italian (well, at least compared to all her 6-foot-tall competitors) made a whole lot of noise in Paris, reaching the final in singles and in doubles with partner Roberta Vinci. Errani could not overcome Maria Sharapova for the singles title, but she still walked away with a runner-up trophy to accompany her doubles win. This spring, Errani reached the semifinals in both Madrid and Rome and looks to be a potential stumbling block for many at Roland Garros.

 

UPDATE: Errani lost in the semifinals to Serena Williams.

Clive Mason - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/05/21/ladiesofclay3_20130521125939254_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/05/21/ladiesofclay3_20130521125939254_107_80.JPG
Tennis 199 43 French Open: Women's players to watch 31768211 Victoria Azarenka Victoria+Azarenka Tennis

Current ranking: 3
2012 result: Fourth round
Best finish at French: Quarterfinals, 2009 and 2011
 

The two-time defending Australian Open champion tends to snooze a bit on clay while waiting for Wimbledon and the summer hardcourt season. But last week she showed game in reaching the Italian Open final, though she proved no match for Serena Williams. Then again, who has been a match for Serena this year? Exactly. At 6 feet tall, with a game to match, Vika is no slouch.

 

UPDATE: Azarenka lost in the semifinals to Maria Sharapova.

Clive Mason - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/05/21/ladiesofclay5_20130521125939252_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/05/21/ladiesofclay5_20130521125939252_107_80.JPG
Tennis 199 43 French Open: Women's players to watch 31768214 Li Na Li+Na Tennis

Current ranking: 6
2012 result: Fourth round
Best finish at French: Champion, 2011
 

It's easy to push Li to the back of your mind when choosing front-runners at Roland Garros. But don't forget China's Miss Congeniality earned millions of fans (and dollars) just two years ago by claiming the French Open crown. She has the skills, the determination and the experience to get through the draw — and she'll do it with a smile.

 

UPDATE: Li lost to Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the second round.

Clive Brunskill - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/05/21/ladiesofclay4_20130521125939253_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/05/21/ladiesofclay4_20130521125939253_107_80.JPG
Tennis 199 43 French Open: Women's players to watch 31768218 Agnieszka Radwanska Agnieszka+Radwanska Tennis

Current ranking: 4
2012 result: Third round
Best finish at French: Fourth round, 2008, 2009 and 2011


If you can't beat 'em — dye your hair blonde and look like 'em? Radwanska has been a top-five staple over the past two years, but she hasn't quite cracked the code to winning a major. She came darned close last summer, losing the Wimbledon final to a very-determined Serena Williams, and has maintained a steady record throughout the year. Could her new tresses be the key to her first major title?

 

UPDATE: Radwanska lost to Sara Errani in the quarterfinals.

Julian Finney - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/05/21/ladiesofclay7_20130521130330263_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/05/21/ladiesofclay7_20130521130330263_107_80.JPG
Tennis 199 43 French Open: Women's players to watch 31768216 Angelique Kerber Angelique+Kerber Tennis

Current ranking: 8
2012 result: Quarterfinals
Best finish at French: Quarterfinals, 2012
 

Angelique Kerber fought her way into the top 10 last year after some surprising finishes, beginning with her 2011 US Open semifinal appearance. The German has never won a title on clay, but she has grit and power and will keep her opponents guessing.

 

UPDATE: Kerber lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova in the fourth round.

Pierre Philippe Marcou - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/05/21/ladiesofclay9_20130521130330262_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/05/21/ladiesofclay9_20130521130330262_107_80.JPG
Tennis 199 43 French Open: Women's players to watch 31768217 Sam Stosur Sam+Stosur Tennis

Current ranking: 9
2012 result: Semifinals
Best finish at French: Final, 2010
 

Aussie top-10 mainstay Stosur usually hits her seasonal stride on the clay. Not one to succeed in Melbourne in January, Stosur's athleticism and quickness make her a threat on the clay — she's reached at least the semis at Roland Garros in three of the past four years. Last week in Rome, Stosur took Victoria Azarenka to three sets, showing the bigger names in the draw that she just might get it together again in Paris.

 

UPDATE: Stosur lost to Jelena Jankovic in the third round.

Clive Brunskill - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/05/21/ladiesofclay6_20130521130330264_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/05/21/ladiesofclay6_20130521130330264_107_80.JPG
Tennis 199 43 French Open: Women's players to watch 31768219 Petra Kvitova Petra+Kvitova Tennis

Current ranking: 7
2012 result: Semifinals
Best finish at French: Semifinals, 2012
 

Petra Kvitova has lost a step since winning Wimbledon in 2011, but she's managed to stay a top-10 competitor. The 2012 semfinalist at Roland Garros is not what you'd call a clay-court specialist, but she did win at Madrid in 2011, so she knows how to slide.

 

UPDATE: Kvitova lost to Jamie Hampton in the third round.

Clive Brunskill - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/05/21/ladiesofclay8_20130521130330265_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/05/21/ladiesofclay8_20130521130330265_107_80.JPG
Tennis 199 43 French Open: Women's players to watch 31768220 Sloane Stephens Sloane+Stephens Tennis

Current ranking: 17
2012 result: Fourth round
Best finish at French: Fourth round, 2012
 

Last spring, Sloane Stephens jumped into the spotlight with her on-court performances. This spring, her off-court comments about one-time friend and mentor Serena Williams raised a few eyebrows. But that dustup has subsided, and it's time to see another kind of red. Can Stephens improve her 2012 performance and break into the top 10 this year? We shall see.

 

UPDATE: Stephens lost to Maria Sharapova in the fourth round.

Clive Mason - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/05/21/ladiesofclay10_20130521130331266_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/05/21/ladiesofclay10_20130521130331266_107_80.JPG
Tennis 199 43 French Open: Women's players to watch 31768342 Hang on tight Hang+on+tight Tennis

That trophy you won last year, Maria? You'll have to up your game to keep it out of the hands of red-hot Serena Williams — let alone the other top threats to win it all. Every tournament seems to be Serena's to lose, but you can bet the sugar-peddling Sharapova will be sweet on a repeat Grand Slam title.


Here are 10 women to watch at Roland Garros.

Susan Mullane - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/05/21/Maria-Sharapova-_20130521173438162_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/05/21/Maria-Sharapova-_20130521173438162_107_80.JPG
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http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/10/20/kate_20131020023241179_136_102.JPG Sporting royals gallery Members of the world's royal families often... Members of the world's royal families often compete in sports, occasionally at very high levels. Members of the world's royal families often compete in sports, occasionally at very high levels. This week, the lovely Kate Middleton was busy attacking the net. Oct 20, 2013 6:21 AM ET 1 2 /tennis/lists/royal-family-members-competing-in-sports
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/09/26/New-Zealand-sailing-fan_20130926040909882_136_102.JPG Biggest choke jobs in sports Infamous chokers gallery Infamous chokers gallery You've really got to work to get sailing onto this website. And you've <i><font color="#0000">REALLY</font></i> got to blow it for people to refer to a yacht race as the biggest choke in the history of all sports. Take a bow, Emirates! Sep 26, 2013 12:02 PM ET 1 2 /nhl/lists/Infamous-sports-chokers
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/06/24/Rafael-Nadal-of-Spain_20130624132446484_136_102.JPG Rafael Nadal's Grand Slam wins Take a look back at all of Rafael Nadal's Gra... Take a look back at all of Rafael Nadal's Grand Slam wins. Monday's US Open win was the 13th Grand Slam victory of Rafael Nadal's career. Take a look back at each of his major triumphs. Sep 13, 2013 4:34 PM ET 1 2 /tennis/lists/rafael-nadal-grand-slam-wins
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/09/09/Serena-Williams_20130909121659181_136_102.JPG Serena Williams' Grand Slam wins Serena Williams' Grand Slam wins Serena Williams' Grand Slam wins Over 14 years of dominance has left Serena among the all-time leaders in Grand Slam triumphs. Take a look back at all 17 of the big ones. Sep 10, 2013 1:50 PM ET 1 2 /tennis/lists/tennis-serena-williams-grand-slam-wins