Thirteen former US Open singles winners, including reigning champions Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka, headline a star-studded field for the second Grand Slam of the season at Roland Garros.
On the men’s side, every US Open singles champion since 2004 will compete on the red Parisian clay next week, with the exception of Andy Murray, who announced earlier in the year that his career has likely come to an end.
The top three players in the ATP rankings—No. 1 Djokovic, No. 2 Rafael Nadal and No. 3 Roger Federer—are all expected to be in contention for the La Coupe des Mousquetaires.
Nadal’s proclivity on clay makes him once again the overwhelming favorite, maybe even more so after seeing him saunter to the title in Rome over the weekend, but much could hinge on whether Federer is drawn in Djokovic's or Nadal’s half of the draw.
Either way, the trio will be joined by 2016 US Open champion Stan Wawrinka, who has twice reached the final at Roland Garros, winning it in 2015; two-time French Open semifinalist and current world No. 9 Juan Martin del Potro; and world No. 13 Marin Cilic, who has reached major finals in each of the past two seasons.
Not accounting for Murray, the six active Grand Slam men’s singles champions have won the past 53 majors between them, dating back to the 2005 French Open, incidentally also the first of Nadal’s 11 titles in Paris.
The women’s side is just as stacked, with six former Grand Slam singles winners, including four US Open champs, currently inside the Top 10 of the WTA rankings.
Osaka is currently ranked No. 1 in the world after winning the past two majors, with Angelique Kerber and Sloane Stephens at Nos. 5 and 7 respectively.
Three-time French Open victor Serena Williams is also in the main draw as she looks for her first major title in more than two years, while Venus Williams, Sam Stosur and Svetlana Kuznetsova round out the former US Open champs hoping to challenge defending champion Simona Halep for her title.
The notable absence is two-time French Open winner and 2006 US Open champion Maria Sharapova. The Russian, who completed the career Grand Slam in Paris in 2012, pulled out last with, citing a shoulder injury.
While many fans predict the men’s championship will go to one of two or three main contenders, there is far less certainty in the women’s game, even before the draw has been made.
Eight different women have won the past nine majors, five different women have won in Paris in each of the past five years, and only one woman has repeated as champion in the French capital in the past two decades.
Outside of the previous US Open champions, 2014 men’s finalist Kei Nishikori will hope for a deep run into week 2 after making the quarterfinals or better at each of the previous three Slams, although Kevin Anderson, who contested the final in New York in 2017 and at Wimbledon last summer, will miss the tournament through injury.
Two-time US Open runners-up Caroline Wozniacki and Victoria Azarenka will each be hoping to find success on the clay and prove they’re capable of winning the biggest matches on surfaces other than hard courts, and 2018 US Open finalist Madison Keys and 2017 runner-up Karolina Pliskova will enter full of hope that 2019 is their year to win their first major title.