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FRENCH OPEN 2018: Will No. 1 Halep ever win a Slam title?

Despite playing three major finals, Simona Halep has yet to overcome a mental barrier which has kept her away from getting her hands on the coveted Grand Slam trophy.

Reported by: AP , Paris [ Published on: May 23, 2018 16:51 IST ]
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES

All eyes on Simona Halep to win her first Slam title at French Open 2018.

Women to watch at the French Open, where play begins Sunday:

SIMONA HALEP

Ranked: 1

Age: 26

Country: Romania

2018 Match Record: 28-6

2018 Singles Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 16

Major Titles: 0 — Best: RU, at French Open ('14, '17), Australian Open ('18)

Last 5 French Opens: '17-Runner-Up, '16-Lost in 4th Round, '15-2nd, '14-RU, '13-1st

Aces: Second on tour in match wins in 2018 (behind Petra Kvitova). ... Tweaked back in Italian Open final loss.

Topspin: Will she ever win one of these? Everyone in tennis assumes that Halep will, at long last, win a Grand Slam trophy someday. Her game is simply too good not to. But the mental barrier has been overwhelming so far, with losses in three major finals.

GARBINE MUGURUZA

Ranked: 3

Age: 24

Country: Spain

2018 Match Record: 15-9

2018 Singles Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 6

Major Titles: 2 — French Open ('16), Wimbledon ('17)

Last 5 French Opens: '17-4th, '16-Won Championship, '15-QF, '14-QF, '13-2nd

Aces: Site of her first major title, beating Serena Williams in the final. ... At Wimbledon last year, beat Venus Williams in the final, becoming the first player to own a Grand Slam championship match victory over each sister.

Topspin: Her bold strokes and attitude and been-there-done-that pedigree mean Muguruza is always a contender for the title, no matter the circumstances.

ELINA SVITOLINA

Ranked: 4

Age: 23

Country: Ukraine

2018 Match Record: 25-6

2018 Singles Titles: 3

Career Singles Titles: 12

Major Titles: 0 — Best: QF, French Open ('15, '17), Australian Open ('18)

Last 5 French Opens: '17-QF, '16-4th, '15-QF, '14-2nd, '13-2nd

Aces: Won Italian Open clay-court tuneup for the second year in a row. ... French Open junior champion when she was 15.

Topspin: Might be gaining on Halep when it comes to being the best player on tour without a Grand Slam title, but needs to get past the quarterfinals at a major. If she ever gets to a Slam final, look out: Career record in title matches is 12-2.

JELENA OSTAPENKO

Ranked: 5

Age: 20 (21 on June 8)

Country: Latvia

2018 Match Record: 12-11

2018 Singles Titles: 0

Career Singles Titles: 2

Major Titles: 1 — French Open ('17)

Last 5 French Opens: '17-W, '16-1st, '15-Did Not Play, '14-DNP, '13-DNP

Aces: Converting 52 percent of break points this season; ranks fourth on tour this season in that category.

Topspin: Goes for everything on pretty much each shot, which leads to a ton of winners — and a ton of unforced errors. Does not show a hint of fear on the court, an attitude which could serve her well in the first defence of any title.

MARIA SHARAPOVA

Ranked: 29

Age: 31

Country: Russia

2018 Match Record: 12-7

2018 Singles Titles: 0

Career Singles Titles: 36

Major Titles: 5 — French Open ('14, '12), Wimbledon ('04), U.S. Open ('06), Australian Open ('08)

Last 5 French Opens: '17-DNP, '16-DNP, '15-4th, '14-W, '13-RU

Aces: Finally got her first victory over a top-10 opponent this year by beating Ostapenko in Rome. ... Hit 17 aces in a match on clay this season — but also had 10 double-faults in that loss.

Topspin: First appearance in Paris since 2015, after serving drug ban in 2016 and not being given a wild card last year. About as good as it gets in the third-set crucible at Grand Slam tournaments.

SERENA WILLIAMS

Ranked: 453

Age: 36

Country: United States

2018 Match Record: 2-2

2018 Singles Titles: 0

Career Singles Titles: 72

Major Titles: 23 — French Open ('02, '13, '15), U.S. Open ('99, '02, '08, '12, '13, '14), Wimbledon ('02, '03, '09, '10, '12, '15, '16), Australian Open ('03, '05, '07, '09, '10, '15, '17)

Last 5 French Opens: '17-DNP, '16-RU, '15-W, '14-2nd, '13-W

Aces: Has not played a Grand Slam tournament in more than a year; won the 2017 Australian Open while pregnant. ... Gave birth to the first child on Sept. 1.

Topspin: No one really knows what to expect from Williams, because she has played so sparingly since returning from maternity leave. But no opponent will want to face her.

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