The third quarter of the draw, vacated on the first two days by defending champion Jelena Ostapenko, Venus Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Francesca Schiavone, will see a brand new French Open semifinalist emerge. Of the players remaining in it, the only previous quarterfinalists here are Elina Svitolina (2015, 2017) and Yulia Putintseva (2016); the only previous major semifinalists are Madison Keys (Australian Open 2015, US Open 2017) and Ekaterina Makarova (US Open 2014, Australian Open 2015).
Petra Kvitova is the only player left in the bottom half of the draw who has reached a Roland Garros semifinal before. The Czech, who has extended her current winning streak to 12, lost to Maria Sharapova in the last four in 2012.
Four Frenchwomen have made it to the second round – and at least one is guaranteed in the third round as No.32 seed Alizé Cornet takes on wildcard Pauline Parmentier today. Cornet leads their head-to-head 2-1, including both clay encounters in the 2012 Strasbourg semifinals and first round of Nurnberg in 2013. The other local hopes still standing are No.7 seed Caroline Garcia and wildcard Fiona Ferro, both in the top half of the draw.
Former World No.26 Alexandra Dulgheru is playing her first French Open since 2015 – and will bid to make the third round for the first time since her debut here in 2010 against No.25 seed Anett Kontaveit. The Romanian, who was ranked No.513 this time last year, has suffered chronic knee injuries since 2012; to reach the second round, she has played three sets in all three of her qualifying matches (against Nao Hibino, Lizette Cabrera and Tamara Korpatsch) as well as saving two match points against Christina McHale in the first round.
Two of this year’s clay Premier tournament victors are in action today: Madrid champion Petra Kvitova and Rome champion Elina Svitolina. In the Open Era, eight Rome winners have gone on to capture Roland Garros in the same year: Chris Evert in 1974, 1975 and 1980; Stefanie Graf in 1987; Monica Seles in 1990; Maria Sharapova in 2012; and most recently Serena Williams in 2002 and 2013. Since Madrid’s inception as a Premier Mandatory tournament in 2009, two players have doubled up in the Spanish capital and Paris: Serena Williams in 2013 and Sharapova in 2014.