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2014 FRENCH OPEN: Capsules on women to watch

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 24, 2014 at 11:32 am •  Published: May 24, 2014
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PARIS (AP) — Women to watch at the French Open, where play begins Sunday:

SERENA WILLIAMS

Seeded: 1

Age: 32

Country: United States

2014 Match Record: 23-3

2014 Singles Titles: 3

Career Singles Titles: 60

Major Titles: 17 — French Open ('02, '13), Wimbledon ('02, '03, '09, '10, '12), U.S. Open ('99, '02, '08, '12, '13), Australian Open ('03, '05, '07, '09, '10)

Last 5 French Opens: '13-Won Championship, '12-Lost in 1st Round, '11-Did Not Play, '10-QF, '09-QF

Topspin: Who would have thought Williams could become a powerhouse on clay, a slower surface that dulls the speed of her serves and powerful groundstrokes? Since the start of the 2012 clay-court season, though, she is 53-2 on the surface. ... Williams' 11 WTA clay titles are the most among active players. ... Is one Grand Slam title from matching Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert with 18, the fourth-highest total behind Margaret Smith Court's record of 24. ... Leads tour this season in most significant serving categories, including aces, percentage of service games won, percentage of break point saved. ... Fifth consecutive major tournament seeded No. 1, the longest such streak of her career.

LI NA

Seeded: 2

Age: 32

Country: China

2014 Match Record: 26-5

2014 Singles Titles: 2

Career Singles Titles: 9

Major Titles: 2 — French Open ('11), Australian Open ('14)

Last 5 French Opens: '13-2nd, '12-4th, '11-W, '10-3rd, '09-4th

Topspin: Broke through for her second Grand Slam title in January by winning the Australian Open, where she had been the runner-up in 2011 and 2013. ... At 2011 French Open, became the first tennis player from China to win a Grand Slam singles championship. ... Winning 73.4 percent of her service games in 2014, fourth-best on tour. ... Lost in quarterfinals in clay tuneup tournaments at Madrid and Rome. ... Starts off against 21-year-old Kristina Mladenovic of France.

SIMONA HALEP

Seeded: 4

Age: 22

Country: Romania

2014 Match Record: 19-7

2014 Singles Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 7

Major Titles: 0 — Best: QF, at Australian Open ('14)

Last 5 French Opens: '13-1st, '12-1st, '11-2nd, '10-1st, '09-DNP

Topspin: After finishing 2012 at 47th in the WTA rankings, then closing 2013 at a career-best 11th, enjoying a surge this year. ... All seven of her career titles on tour have come in the past 12 months. ... Had never been past the second round of a Grand Slam tournament until getting to the fourth round at the U.S. Open last September, before a run to the quarterfinals at the Australian Open in January. ... Won the 2008 French Open junior title.

MARIA SHARAPOVA

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