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watchdogfish
May 23rd, 2006, 07:32 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/columns/story?id=2454170


Wide-open women's field for French Open

By Bonnie DeSimone
Special to ESPN.com



It's obvious now, if it hadn't been before, that Martina Hingis deserves to be considered a contender in next week's French Open after hoisting the trophy in Rome on Sunday to celebrate The First Title of The Rest of Her Career.

Hingis, who rose to No. 14 in this week's WTA Tour rankings, shares something important with the majority of top-ranked women expected to make appearances at Roland Garros: She never has found a way to win there. The rejuvenated Swiss star was a finalist twice, losing to Iva Majoli in 1997 and to Steffi Graf in 1999.

Defending champion Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium, who also won in 2003, is the only healthy current top-10 player who has planted her flag in the red dirt.

Henin-Hardenne and surging No. 3 Nadia Petrova of Russia will be the two favorites going in. Petrova, the self-possessed daughter of two track and field Olympians, won a pair of titles on green clay in the United States (Amelia Island and Charleston) earlier this year and is playing, justifiably, with the most confidence of her career. She has split her last two matches with Henin-Hardenne on clay: a loss in the Fed Cup quarterfinals and a victory in the final in Berlin.

Amelie Mauresmo's inability to get past the quarterfinals in Paris in 11 previous tries has been well-chronicled, particularly by the French press corps. Le stress of playing in her backyard will only be heightened because she'll be playing there for the first time as the world No. 1. Mauresmo beat Hingis on clay in Berlin in a two-day quarterfinal suspended by darkness, then lost to Henin-Hardenne, her only two significant results on clay this season.

Two-time finalist and current No. 2 Kim Clijsters has played sparingly on clay this season but is 6-2, including a title in Warsaw -- her first on the surface in three years.

No. 7 Lindsay Davenport, who advanced to the semis at Roland Garros only once (1998), formally pulled out last week as she continues to nurse a bulging disk. Likely to join her on the list of absentees is No. 6 Mary Pierce, the 2000 French Open winner, who reached the final against Henin-Hardenne last year; a foot injury has idled her since February. No. 4 Maria Sharapova hasn't touched clay this season because of a foot problem, and her presence in Paris is questionable.

A couple of Petrova's fellow Russians are capable of making a racket. No. 8 Elena Dementieva was a finalist at Roland Garros in 2004, and 10th-ranked Svetlana Kuznetsova has been one of the most consistent players on clay this season.

Switzerland's No. 9 Patty Schnyder is the only top-10 player in action this week; she's the top seed in Strasbourg. Schnyder never has made much of a run in Paris, getting as far as the quarterfinals just once, in 1998.

Dark horses include 2004 champ Anastasia Myskina of Russia; Venus Williams, who lost in the 2002 final to sister Serena; and Dinara Safina, all of whom will try to step into the void left by clay-averse or otherwise missing players.


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Could this be the most open women's field for years? We should be in for quite an exciting and unpredictable tournament (hopefully!).

alfonsojose
May 23rd, 2006, 07:48 PM
So nobody thinks than Mary and Maria will play. I think it would be smart from them both to do so

CJ07
May 23rd, 2006, 08:32 PM
How on earth is Myskina a darkhorse? She'd be lucky to get past the 3rd round.

tenn_ace
May 23rd, 2006, 08:36 PM
A couple of Petrova's fellow Russians are capable of making a racket. No. 8 Elena Dementieva was a finalist at Roland Garros in 2004, and 10th-ranked Svetlana Kuznetsova has been one of the most consistent players on clay this season.




as much as I'd like it to be the truth, I politely disagree :p

LH2HBH
May 23rd, 2006, 08:37 PM
How on earth is Myskina a darkhorse? She'd be lucky to get past the 3rd round.


You're probably right as she is not playing her best tennis right now, but as a former champion who beat some good players in 2004 she still has to be considered a threat.

lucashg
May 23rd, 2006, 08:42 PM
as much as I'd like it to be the truth, I politely disagree :p

SF in Amelia Island, F in Warsaw, QF in Berlin, SF in Rome. I can't remember her result in Charleston. Isn't that consistent enough?

pierce0415
May 23rd, 2006, 08:45 PM
Mary is playing

tenn_ace
May 23rd, 2006, 08:50 PM
SF in Amelia Island, F in Warsaw, QF in Berlin, SF in Rome. I can't remember her result in Charleston. Isn't that consistent enough?

hmmmmm For me consistency is not what round a player reaches, but who the player loses

Amelia Island --- Fran
Warsaw --- Kim
Berlin --- JHH
Rome --- Dinara
Charleston --- ALG

Sveta should have beating all but Justine IMO to be called consistent.

Helen Lawson
May 23rd, 2006, 08:51 PM
The race is as wide-open as some actresses' legs in Hollywood!

mr_burns
May 23rd, 2006, 08:56 PM
How do you know that MAry will play

The only consitent playeron clay this year is Petrova, but it doesn't mean that much. Over the last years Amelie was one of the best on clay before Rg,but then..

Helen Lawson
May 23rd, 2006, 08:59 PM
How do you know that MAry will play

The only consitent playeron clay this year is Petrova, but it doesn't mean that much. Over the last years Amelie was one of the best on clay before Rg,but then..

I remember one year, 95 or 96, Conchita won all the French Open warm-ups and then got smoked by Steffi in the semifinals.

j@zmin
May 23rd, 2006, 09:15 PM
hmmmmm For me consistency is not what round a player reaches, but who the player loses

Amelia Island --- Fran
Warsaw --- Kim
Berlin --- JHH
Rome --- Dinara
Charleston --- ALG

Sveta should have beating all but Justine IMO to be called consistent.


Good point, but I think her lost against Kim is not bad because Kim is a top player (ranked 2), even if she has not been so consistent this year. Besides, Kim played great tennis in that match.
Other than that, I agree. A real contender for Roland Garros shouldn´t lose against Schiavone, Dinara or ALG.

UDACHi
May 23rd, 2006, 09:23 PM
The race is as wide-open as some actresses' legs in Hollywood!

Like yours, Helen? ;)

Myskina is maybe a darkhorse for like, QFs.

iPatty
May 23rd, 2006, 09:27 PM
hmmmmm For me consistency is not what round a player reaches, but who the player loses

Amelia Island --- Fran
Warsaw --- Kim
Berlin --- JHH
Rome --- Dinara
Charleston --- ALG

Sveta should have beating all but Justine IMO to be called consistent.

She didn't play a bad match against ALG, she was just outplayed. She was injured against Schiavone and had to retire, and her losses to Kim and Justine are not things to frown upon. Dinara was on a hot streak in Rome, so no shame in losing to her either.

Either way you spin the wheel, she's consistent.

new-york
May 23rd, 2006, 10:21 PM
This is taken from the Roland Garros website:

There's (always) something about Mary
Fate seems to be determined to deal Mary Pierce a cruel hand. Having finally got rid of the inflammation on her right foot which had been bothering her during the opening months of the season, last year's French Open finalist got back into full training, only to suffer another set-back. The world number six pulled an adductor muscle at the end of last week, and has been unable to train for the past three days. Mary is still hopeful of taking part in her favourite tournament, however.

http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/news/articles/2006-05-23/200605231148388689977.html

Hope she will take part!

:awww:

faboozadoo15
May 23rd, 2006, 10:34 PM
i think maria AND mary will play. this is a major, which makes it really important for maria, and it's the FRENCH open, making itreally important to mary.

Joana
May 23rd, 2006, 10:39 PM
hmmmmm For me consistency is not what round a player reaches, but who the player loses

Amelia Island --- Fran
Warsaw --- Kim
Berlin --- JHH
Rome --- Dinara
Charleston --- ALG

Sveta should have beating all but Justine IMO to be called consistent.

I agree. She didn't have any truly awful losses, but she hasn't played all that well either since Miami.

faboozadoo15
May 23rd, 2006, 10:41 PM
I agree. She didn't have any truly awful losses, but she hasn't played all that well either since Miami.
which may mean miami is an abberration from what to expect from her.

PLP
May 23rd, 2006, 10:44 PM
So nobody thinks than Mary and Maria will play. I think it would be smart from them both to do so
I think they will both play>P

Joana
May 23rd, 2006, 10:45 PM
which may mean miami is an abberration from what to expect from her.

It's starting to look so. I believe she'll have such tournaments from time to time, but to expect her to keep her Miami form throughout the year is too much (for time being, at least).

bello
May 23rd, 2006, 11:21 PM
They mention all the Russians but leave out Nadia who is the one with the best chance

WIMBLY2004
May 24th, 2006, 01:51 AM
They mention all the Russians but leave out Nadia who is the one with the best chance

Did you read? Petrova is mentioned as one of the two favourites, there is a whole paragraph about her :rolleyes:

fammmmedspin
May 24th, 2006, 02:09 AM
How on earth is Myskina a darkhorse? She'd be lucky to get past the 3rd round.

Because at some point she may click back on and find her forward gears and if she does she can beat anyone who might turn up if they play at their current average form.

Unlikely but stranger things happen.

drake3781
May 24th, 2006, 02:23 AM
I think the Spanish players Medina-Garrigues, Dominguez-Lino, and Ruano-Pasqual deserve a sentence in that article too. Just a brief mention.

Rub
May 24th, 2006, 02:25 AM
yep.. it's wide open...