As a fan, part of the fun during major tennis tournaments is looking ahead in the draw to see interesting potential matchups. Here are five that caught my eye on the women’s side of the 2012 French Open singles draw, set to begin Sunday, May 27, 2012.
Venus Williams vs. Agnieszka Radwanska (Round 2)
This potential matchup is interesting for a number of reasons. Williams’ comeback continues after taking some time away from the game due to an autoimmune disease. She’s unseeded, but always dangerous. Radwanska, the current No. 3 in the world, is coming off tournament wins in Dubai, Miami and Brussels this season. Williams leads the head-to-head series, 5-2, but Radwanska defeated Williams in their most recent matchup in Miami in March.
Serena Williams vs. Caroline Wozniacki (Round 4)
What’s not to love about seeing two former number one players doing battle? Williams leads the head-to-head series, 4-1. In May she defeated Wozniacki in Madrid in three sets on clay. Wozniacki defeated Williams on a hard court in Miami in March. How about another epic three-set battle in the round of 16 at Roland Garros?
Maria Sharapova vs. Caroline Wozniacki (Quarterfinal)
They have played on clay twice, in Rome (2008, 2011), and Sharapova defeated Wozniacki both times in straight sets. Sharapova holds a 4-2 lead in the head-to-head series, with their most recent meeting taking place in Miami in March — a match Sharapova won in three sets. Sharapova has an edge on clay, but it would be fun to see Wozniacki attempt to defend her way to victory while Sharapova blasts away from the baseline.
Venus Williams vs. Serena Williams (Final)
The sisters have played each other 23 times (Serena has won 13 of those matches), meeting in eight major finals (with Serena winning six of those matchups), so any time they meet, it is historical. They haven’t played each other in the final of any tournament since 2009 though, so this is an unlikely final, especially since Venus hasn’t been past the fourth round of the French Open since 2006. She has also battled fatigue off and on this season due to her diagnosis.
Victoria Azarenka vs. Maria Sharapova (Final)
If this occurs, it’ll be the fourth time the two have met in a final this season, with Azarenka defeating Sharapova twice on hard courts (Australia and Indian Wells) and Sharapova triumphing on clay in Stuttgart. Vika holds a slim 5-4 lead in the head-to-head series between the top two seeds. Sharapova has won both times they have met on clay (Rome 2011, Stuttgart 2012), but this one would be too close to call.
Lee Warren is a sportswriter from Omaha, Nebraska who has written hundreds of articles for various newspapers, magazines and websites. He played high school tennis and has been a fan of the game since he was young. You can follow him on Twitter @leewarren, where he’ll be tweeting about the French Open.