French Open: Roland Garros announces women's singles entry list

The full entry list for the Women’s singles at the 2016 French Open, the second major of the year, has been confirmed, with 108 players confirmed to be automatically entered into the main draw.

The women’s tournament, which starts on May 22nd, will see a total of 128 players in the singles draw. Eight wild cards will be given, whilst there will be 12 qualifiers in the tournament.

This article will look at some of players who could win the title and have had success in the past, and will then focus on the representatives that some of the most high profile tennis nations have.

Former champions in action

Four former Roland Garros champions will be in the draw this year. The most notable is world number one Serena Williams, who will be looking to defend her title and win the title for a fourth time. Following Williams is 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova. The Russian also reached the final back in 2006, and will certainly be a danger for the title.

2008 champion and 2007 runner-up Ana Ivanovic will also be in the draw and has semifinal points to defend, whilst 2010 champion (and 2011 runner-up) Francesca Schiavone has snuck in the draw after a strong run of late and could be a dangerous unseeded player.

Kuznetsova with the title in 2009 (Getty/AFP/Lionel Bonaventure)
Kuznetsova with the title in 2009 (Getty/AFP/Lionel Bonaventure)

Finalists looking to go one step further

Some players will be looking to go one step further after previously losing in finals. The highest ranked of these will be 2014 finalist Simona Halep, who will be looking to improve after an early loss last year. Next will be Venus Williams, who lost to sister Serena in the final back in 2002.

2015 finalist Lucie Safarova will be looking for some form after a tricky start to the year, whilst Sam Stosur, runner-up back in 2010, will be looking to perform on what can be a strong surface for her.

2012 finalist Sara Errani thrives on clay and will be looking to reach the last eight at the French Open for the fifth consecutive year.

Errani receiving the runner-up plate in 2012 (Getty/AFP/Patrick Kovarik)
Errani receiving the runner-up plate in 2012 (Getty/AFP/Patrick Kovarik)

Other big names in action

Most big WTA stars are set to be in action.

Grand Slam champions Victoria Azarenka, Angelique Kerber and Petra Kvitova will all be in Paris and are all certainly capable of taking the title. Furthermore, former world number ones Jelena Jankovic and Caroline Wozniacki and world number two Agnieszka Radwanska will be present at the tournament.

Roberta Vinci and Belinda Bencic are seemingly in a battle to be one of the top eight seeds, whilst Spaniards Garbine Muguruza and Carla Suarez Navarro could well be dangerous at the tournament.

Azarenka will be a favorite for the title (Getty/Mike Ehrmann)
Azarenka will be a favorite for the title (Getty/Mike Ehrmann)

Dark horses for the title

Considering how open the WTA has been this year, there could be some interesting players in the latter stages of the tournament.

Perhaps the biggest dark horses are Sloane Stephens and Johanna Konta. American Stephens won the title in Charleston and has shown some good form this season, whilst Konta is in the top eight players for the season so far and will be extremely difficult to face.

2015 semifinalist Timea Bacsinszky could also be a threat, and 2015 quarterfinalist Elina Svitolina is also capable of being a dangerous opponent.

Bacsinszky is back in form after injury (Getty/Mike Ehrmann)
Bacsinszky is back in form after injury (Getty/Mike Ehrmann)

French stars looking to succeed at home

Four French women are currently set to take part in the main draw.

French number one Kristina Mladenovic will be dangerous after causing upsets at the tournament in the past, and Alize Cornet is another player capable of causing an upset.

Caroline Garcia has had an erratic season though will certainly be dangerous for anyone she plays, whilst Pauline Parmentier has snuck into the main draw after a good run of form and will be looking to build on that momentum.

Mladenovic will have French hopes on her shoulders (Getty/Jean Catuffe)
Mladenovic will have French hopes on her shoulders (Getty/Jean Catuffe)

Americans in action

Alongside the Williams’ sisters and Stephens, 11 other Americans are set to be in action at Roland Garros.

Perhaps the most notable will be Madison Keys, who is currently set to be seeded, though Coco Vandeweghe is also close to being seeded for the tournament.

Madison Brengle, Christina McHale and Vavara Lepchenko follow Vandeweghe, whilst Nicole Gibbs will look to continue her impressive form and Bethanie Mattek-Sands will be looking to build on previous upsets in Paris.

Alison Riske and Irina Falconi are also in the draw whilst Samantha Crawford and Shelby Rogers have just made it into the draw, with Rogers the last player to get direct entry.

Keys will be looking to improve after an early loss last year (Getty)
Keys will be looking to improve after an early loss last year (Getty/Bradley Kanaris)

Kvitova and Safarova joined by other Czech stars

Four other Czech stars join Kvitova and Safarova in the tournament.

The most notable is Karolina Pliskova, who is the Czech number three behind Kvitova and Safarova. She is joined by twin, Krystina Pliskova, in the draw.

Other Czech stars in action include Barbora Strycova, who is in good form this season, and Denisa Allertova, who has risen up the rankings greatly in the past season.

Pliskova has never made the 4th round at a major (Getty)
Pliskova has never made the 4th round at a major (Getty/Harry How)

Kerber leads strong German field

Alongside Kerber, nine other German players are entered into the French Open.

The most notable of these is German number two Andrea Petkovic, who has not played amazingly well this year but reached the semifinals of the tournament back in 2014.

Furthermore, former Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki is also entered, though she is not strong on clay and the likes of Annika Beck and Julia Goerges, who reached the 4th round last year, are more likely to be a threat.

Young stars Anna-Lena Friedsam and Carina Witthoeft will be in action, as well as the more experienced Mona Barthel and Tatjana Maria. Late bloomer Laura Siegemund will also take part.

The French Open has been Petkovic's best major (Getty/Francois Nel)
The French Open has been Petkovic's best major (Getty/Francois Nel)

Strong Russian contingent behind Kuznetsova

2009 champion Kuznetsova leads a strong Russian charge, though two-time champion Maria Sharapova is not present due to her suspension.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova is extremely erratic, but has reached the quarterfinals in Paris and could be a danger, if she is consistent. Also, Elena Vesnina has had a strong year in singles so far and could be a threat to some of the big names, whilst Ekaterina Makarova tends to perform well at the majors and has played well this year.

Vitalia Diatchenko has used her protected ranking to enter the tournament, whilst young stars Daria Kasatkina and Margarita Gasparyan are also in action. Both have impressed this season, especially Kasatkina, and it will be interesting to see what impact they can make.

Kasatkina has impressed in 2016 (Getty/Clive Brunskill)
Kasatkina has impressed in 2016 (Getty/Clive Brunskill)

Four Brits in main draw

British number one Konta will be joined by three other Brits in the main draw- the nation's best representation in years.

British number two Heather Watson will probably pose the biggest threat of the Brits, with the exception of Konta. Watson has played some good tennis after a poor start to the year and will be looking to continue that form.

Meanwhile, Laura Robson continues her return by using her protected ranking to enter the tournament, whilst Naomi Broady has automatically made the main draw of a major for the first time in her career.

Watson's results have gradually improved in 2016 (Getty/Clive Brunskill)
Watson's results have gradually improved in 2016 (Getty/Clive Brunskill)

Spain and Italy represented

Traditionally strong clay court countries, Spain and Italy both have a few representatives set to take part at Roland Garros.

Alongside Errani, Vinci and Schiavone, Camila Giorgi and Karin Knapp are set to be in action. Both will be looking for form after a difficult 2016, with Giorgi especially a potential danger for anyone she faces.

Joining Muguruza and Suarez Navarro in representing Spain are Lara Arruabarrena and Lourdes Dominguez Lino, the penultimate player to automatically enter the tournament. Both are strong on clay and could be dangerous here.

Giorgi has been extremely erratic this year (Getty/Clive Brunskill)
Giorgi has been extremely erratic this year (Getty/Clive Brunskill)

Other nations well represented

Several other nations are set to be well represented in Paris.

Halep leads a relatively strong Romanian charge which features Monica Niculescu, Irina-Camelia Begu and Alexandra Dulgheru, whilst the in-form Dominika Cibulkova leads a strong Slovakian field which also includes Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, Polona Hercog and Magdalena Rybarikova.

Asia also has several representatives Four Japanese players- Misaki Doi, Nao Hibino, Kurumi Nara and Naomi Osaka (automatically in a Grand Slam for the first time)- are all set to be in action, whilst Zhang Shuai, Zheng Saisai and Qiang Wang are the three Chinese stars in action. Su-Wei Hsieh from the Chinese Taipei will also be in action.

Furthemore, Yulia Putintseva, Galina Voskoboeva (using a protected ranking), Zarina Diyas and former quarterfinalist Yaroslava Shvedova will be in action for Kazakhstan.

Three other notable competitors are Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard, Latvian Jelena Ostapenko and Australian Daria Gavrilova. All three are dangerous young stars who could be a threat.

You can see the full entry list, including the entrance order of the players, on the French Open’s official website.

Cibulkova has played some strong tennis in 2016 (Getty/Mike Ehrmann)
Cibulkova has played some strong tennis in 2016 (Getty/Mike Ehrmann)
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