Wozniacki gets favourable draw

Caroline Wozniacki will open her French Open tournament against 40-year-old Japanese veteran Kimiko...

Caroline Wozniacki will open her French Open tournament against 40-year-old Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm. (REUTERS/Francois Lenoir)

SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 1:49 PM ET

PARIS -- The women's draw for the 2011 French Open was revealed on Friday and world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki appears to have a decent path to at least the quarterfinals in Paris.

The 20-year-old Wozniacki will open her French stay against 40-year-old Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm and could have a potential quarterfinal against eighth-seeded 2010 runner-up Samantha Stosur, who will open up against Czech veteran Iveta Benesova next week. Stosur could have to get past the likes of 11th-seeded French crowd favourite Marion Bartoli or rising 17th- seeded German Julia Goerges on her way the quarters.

Wozniacki is ranked No. 1 despite having reached only one Grand Slam final, which she lost at the hands of former world No. 1 Kim Clijsters at the U.S. Open two years ago.

En route to Stosur, Wozniacki could face 13th-seeded former French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in the round of 16. The former top-five star and two-time major winner Kuznetsova captured Roland Garros in 2009 and was the runner-up in 2006.

The Danish Wozniacki could face third-seeded Vera Zvonareva or fifth-seeded and defending champion Francesca Schiavone in the semifinals and a currently world No. 2 Clijsters in the final. Schiavone, who upset Wozniacki in the Roland Garros quarters last year, became the first-ever Italian woman to capture a major when she ran the table in Paris last year, including a victory over the Aussie Stosur in the championship round. Schiavone was seeded 17th a year ago, while Stosur was seeded seventh.

Zvonareva and Schiavone could do battle in the quarterfinals, or the 2010 U.S. Open and Wimbledon runner-up Zvonareva could face 10th-seeded former world No. 1 Serb Jelena Jankovic in the round of eight.

The Russian Zvonareva will open up against Spaniard Lourdes Dominguez Lino, while Schiavone's first-round opponent will be struggling American teenager Melanie Oudin, and the former U.S. Open runner-up Jankovic will take on Ukrainian Alona Bondarenko in round one. Jankovic lost to Stosur in last year's semis in Paris.

In the bottom half of the draw, the top contenders would appear to be the four-time major titlist Clijsters, surging fourth-seeded Belarusian slugger Victoria Azarenka, sixth-seeded Aussie Open runner-up Li Na, seventh-seeded former No. 1 Maria Sharapova, and ninth-seeded talented Czech lefthander Petra Kvitova.

The reigning Aussie and U.S. Open champion Clijsters, who will return from injuries that have sidelined her since early last month, will open her fortnight against Belarusian Anastasiya Yakimova and could face the three-time Grand Slam titlist Sharapova in the quarters. A potential semifinal opponent for Clijsters could be Azarenka, Li or Kvitova.

Clijsters finished as the French runner-up in 2001 and 2003. She hasn't played at Roland Garros since 2006 because of injuries and her two-year retirement.

Sharapova, fresh off a title in Rome last weekend, needs only to win the crown at Roland Garros to complete a career Grand Slam. She will open against Croat Mirjana Lucic and appears to have a comfortable draw into the quarters.

The big Miami champion Azarenka will open up against Czech Andrea Hlavackova and could tangle with Li or Kvitova in the quarters. The 2010 Wimbledon semifinalist Kvitova upset Azarenka in a final in Madrid two weeks ago and has quietly amassed three WTA titles already this season. Kvitova will open against Hungarian veteran Greta Arn.

Kvitova could be opposed by China's Li in the fourth round. Li, who became the first-ever Asian player to reach a Grand Slam final back in January, will open up against Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. Li succumbed to Clijsters in the Melbourne title tilt.

Aside from Schiavone and Kuznetsova, the only other former French Open champ in this year' field is former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic, the 20th seed. The 2008 titlist from Serbia will open her 2011 Parisian stay against Swede Johanna Larsson. Ivanovic could meet Azarenka in the fourth round.

The women's draw will carry on without the Williams sisters, former French champ Serena and former runner-up Venus, who are both sidelined due to health issues. This year's French Open marks the first time in the Open Era (1968) that there are no seeded American women in the draw.

Roland Garros 2011 will commence Sunday in Paris and conclude Sunday, June 5.


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