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No clear favourites in women's field

india Updated: May 22, 2011 00:43 IST

Agencies
Highlight Story

Trying to pick a winner in the women's draw for this year's French Open is like trying to get a ticket for the final - nearly impossible.

Rarely could there have been a more wide open grand slam with world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, last year's winner Francesca Schiavone, injury-troubled Kim Clijsters and suddenly resurgent Maria Sharapova all in with a shout.

Equally, they could all crash out in the early rounds. Such is the splintered nature of women's tennis at the moment.

With Venus and Serena Williams still ruled out with injury and Dinara Safina taking an indefinite break, absolutely anything could happen in the west of Paris.

An outsider could easily emerge from the pack to take unexpected glory on June 4, just like Italian Schiavone did last year when capturing her first grand slam crown.

Germany's Julia Goerges stunned Wozniacki to win the Stuttgart title last month and then got to the Madrid semi-finals before losing to in-form Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, another potential winner.

Raw power
Sharapova, yet to win the French having claimed the other three grand slams, has suffered a string of injuries but routed Wozniacki in the Rome semi-final last week before beating last year's Paris runner-up Samantha Stosur in the final.

Her uncompromising streak underlines her newfound confidence having almost disappeared from many fans' radars following her last grand slam success at the 2008 Australian Open. Clay had never seemed to suit the Russian's game especially but her raw power might even be an asset on the red stuff given the frailties of many in the draw.