The draw for the 2009 French Open is out and here’s my analysis of contenders. I would just like to mention that despite all the facts, I'm sure we all deep inside feel that the women’s field is wide open.
Dinara Safina is my top favorite to win the title. She is coming to Paris with back-to-back titles in Rome and Madrid, plus the Stuttgart final before that (and all the three tournaments mentioned are played on clay). And not only that, the world No.1 Safina was last year’s runner up at the French Open.
The Russian is in impressive form, but she shouldn’t give herself the luxury of making matches longer than they should be (although she’s great at coming back from behind), in order to be fully fit as long as it takes to claim her first Grand Slam.
The first opponent at the French Open won’t be easy for Safina, as she’s meeting Anne Keothavong who reached the semifinals of this week’s Warsaw Open. Other big names such as Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Alisa Kleybanova, Zheng Jie, Victoria Azarenka, Carla Suarez Navarro and defending champion Ana Ivanovic are also in her quarter.
Serena Williams still hasn’t won a singles match on clay this season. The world No.2 dropped openers of Marbella, Rome and Madrid, and hence it’s hard to put her as the favorite. However, knowing her impressive resume which includes the 2002 French Open title, and her ability to show her best at majors, the younger Williams sister can never be written off.
To make things more interesting, Serena Williams is playing Klara Zakopalova in the first round, the player she lost to in Marbella in April. Serena is looking at another potential tough match in the fourth round against Flavia Pennetta.
Venus Williams has won seven Grand Slam singles titles, and although she has never been victorious at Roland Garros, she played the final in 2002, and just like her sister Serena, she’s a threat anywhere and anytime.
Williams is the top seed in her quarter of the draw. Her first-round opponent will be fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands. In the second round Williams could meet Sabine Lisicki, who beat her en route to the title in Charleston last month. Read more »