Top French Open contenders in the women's draw
Competing in her first career Grand Slam final at Roland Garros in 2008, Dinara Safina lost in straight sets. This year, she has more big stage experience, confidence and a No. 1 ranking. In the two clay events in which Safina has competed in 2009, she reached the finals both times. Her opponent each of those occasions was Svetlana Kuznetsova, and the two Russians each won once. Safina also reached two other finals this year, both of which were on the hard courts.
In eight years of competing at the French Open, Serena Williams has an overall record of 31-7, which includes her championship in 1999. She hasn't made it past the quarterfinals since 2003, however. Hampered by a leg injury, Serena Williams lost her first match this season on clay, then had to withdraw in her second.
While Venus Williams has a doubles title at the French Open, she has never won the singles title at the event. Since reaching the finals at the event in 2002, her best showings were quarterfinal runs in 2004 and 2006. Currently ranked No. 3 in the world, Williams has a 19-5 overall record so far this season and a 4-3 record on clay.
A semifinalist at the French Open each of the past two years, each time Jelena Jankovic fell to the eventual champion (Justine Henin in 2007 and Ana Ivanovic in 2008). She reached the quarterfinals of the two clay events she has played this year.
In the past three years at the French Open, Svetlana Kuznetsova has made it to the finals, quarterfinals and semifinals. After making it to two straight finals on clay, and winning one of them, Kuznetsova enters this year's tournament at Roland Garros off a surprising straight-set loss to Alona Bondarenko.
One of the most successful players on the WTA Tour this year, Victoria Azarenka has earned three titles so far in 2009. Azarenka bowed out in the fourth round at the French Open last year, the same round she fell at this year's Australian Open.
Last year's French Open winner, Ana Ivanovic, returns to Roland Garros looking for a repeat championship. Currently ranked No. 8, Ivanovic doesn't have a single title so far this year. In addition to a three-set Fed Cup match victory, Ivanovic has played just two other times on clay: a win and a Round of 16 loss in Rome.