Serena Williams is the top-ranked player in the world, but she’s hardly the best player on clay this season. Only five of the top 10 women in the rankings are among the top 10 on clay, with No. 1 Serena down at No. 11. But she has completed only one event, falling to Petra Kvitova in the semifinals of Madrid and then withdrawing in the third round of Rome. That’s enough for her to be one of the favorites at the French Open.
She’ll be joined by Maria Sharapova, who leads in clay points following her victory in Rome and semifinals appearance in Madrid. Sharapova came into the clay season off an injury, but has gotten herself back into what is now her usual stellar clay-court level.
Though Angelique Kerber is third, she has done it by winning two events in quite different conditions than at the French Open — indoors at Stuttgart and on green clay at Charleston. She has been less successful at the traditional clay-court warm-ups, so her French Open standing might not be quite as high.