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Rediff.com  » Sports » French Open: Check out the sexiest female players!

French Open: Check out the sexiest female players!

Last updated on: May 20, 2011 08:59 IST

Battle of the babes: Wozniacki vs Sharapova?

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The French Open, the second Grand Slam of the year, kicks off on Monday. The red clay courts will once again be the cyncosure of all eyes as the world's top players battle it out against each other.

Leading the charge in the women's draw and boosting the glamour quota in the French capital will be world number one and crowd favourite Caroline Wozniacki but she is expected to get stiff competition, both on and off the court, from the in-form Russian bombshell Maria Sharapova.

Ana Ivanovic will be hoping to repeat her 2008 triumph at the French Open, while youngsters Julia Goerges and Victoria Azarenka will be looking to cause a few flutters.

A look at some of the sexiest players at this year's French Open:

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Photographs: Reuters



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Wozniacki may never get better chance of Slam

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With several of her main threats on the treatment table rather than the tennis court, world number one Caroline Wozniacki may never get a better chance to break her Grand Slam duck and win the French Open.

The Dane is reminded every day by commentators, journalists and the yawning gap in the centre of her trophy cabinet that a major title still alludes her but all that could change over the next two weeks.

The way the glamorous 20-year-old reacts with frustration to questions about whether she deserves her top-ranked status given her lack of success in the sport's showpiece events suggests the millstone round her neck is weighing her down.

Her best result at Roland Garros is the quarter-finals last year but with the current uncertainty in the women's game, the draw could open up for the Nordic blonde.

"My main targets this year are the Grand Slams," she said. "I'd like to win one but it's not a catastrophe if I don't."


Image: Caroline Wozniacki

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Sharapova eyes career Grand Slam

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Maria Sharapova is in red hot form heading into the French Open.

The 24-year-old Russian, struggling with injuries for the last couple of seasons, made everyone stand up and take notice after winning her first claycourt title, in Rome last week.

Sharapova's displeasure for the slow courts in Paris is well known but she believes with an improved fitness she is definitely one of the favourites for the title.

"I'm moving better and I feel better and better with every year. I am stronger and this is one of the most important things that has helped me in that I recover a lot better. I feel stronger," the Russian said.

Sharapova, who last won a Grand Slam title at the 2008 Australian Open, will also be hoping to win the French Open and complete her career Grand Slam set.


Image: Maria Sharapova

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Azarenka hoping to continue good run

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Victoria Azarenka will be another player to watch out for.

The 21-year-old Belarussian won the title in Miami last month followed by another victory at the claycourt tournament in Marbella the following week. She then made it to the final in Madrid that also took her as high to fourth in the latest WTA rankings.

Azarenka's best performance at the French Open was the quarter-finals in 2009 and she will be hoping to continue her recent good run and better that result atleast.


Image: Victoria Azarenka

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Ivanovic hoping to repeat magic in Paris

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The French Open definitely brings back sweet memories for Ana Ivanovic.

The Serbian's only Grand Slam victory came at the 2008 French Open where she also finished as the runner-up a year before.

However, a spate of injuries combined with loss in form saw Ivanovic tumble in the rankings in the last couple of years.

The former world number one withdrew from the WTA tournament in Stratsbourg with inflammation in her left wrist but is confident of being fit for the French Open.


Image: Ana Ivanovic

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Jankovic battling poor form

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Jelena Jankovic has made it to the semi-finals of the French Open on three occasions -- in 2007, 2008 and 2010. But it would take a miracle for the Serbian to repeat that feat this year.

Jankovic, who was world number in 2008, has seen her rankings drop to as low as ninth in the latest WTA rankings after a string of poor performances since last year.

The 26-year-old, who is yet to win a Grand Slam, suffered another big jolt to her preparations for the French Open when she was knocked out in the second round of the Brussels Open by Sweden's Sofia Arvindson.

 

 


Image: Jelena Jankovic

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Goerges looking to continue giant-killing run

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Germany's Julia Goerges will be the player to watch out for at this year French's Open.

The 22-year-old announced herself with back to back victories over world number one Wozniacki, at Stuttgart and Madrid respectively in the space of two weeks.

Goerges, whose forehand is one of her big weapons, will be looking to continue her giant killing run in Paris.


Image: Julia Goerges

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Maria Kirilenko

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Russian Maria Kirilenko is one of the veterans, having started her pro career nearly a decade ago, in 2001.

She has made more headlines for her glamorous appearances rather than her performances on the court. Her best performance in a Grand Slam has been the quarter-final of the 2010 Australian Open.


Image: Maria Kirilenko

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Hantuchova a threat in the doubles

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Daniela Hantuchova has gradually slipped down the WTA singles rankings over the year as she has turned her focus to doubles.

The 28-year-old jumped to fifth in the singles rankings in 2008, but has never managed to keep her focus going and is currently ranked 33rd in the latest rankings.

However, in the doubles she is ranked at number five. She has completed her career Grand Slam in mixed doubles, but is yet to win a title in the women's doubles.


Image: Daniela Hantuchova

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Poor record for Sprem at Slams

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Karolina Sprem is another player who showed big promise at the start of her career before slipping down the radar.

Her best performance in a Grand Slam is the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in 2004, while she has never progressed beyond the third round at the French Open.


Image: Karolina Sprem

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Dulko will be a threat in the doubles

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Argentine Gisela Dulko will be looking to continue her good run in the doubles. She won her first Grand Slam, winning the 2011 Australian Open women's doubles with Flavia Pennetta.

Dulko, who is ranked number two in the doubles, is not expected to pose a threat with a lowly ranking of 52.


Image: Gisela Dulko

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