May 21, 2010

2010 French Open: Serena's path to the final

Arch rivals Serena Williams and Justine Henin could square off in the quarterfinals at the 2010 French Open, which revealed its singles draws on Friday. The top-seeded/world No. 1 Serena will open her stay in Paris against Swiss Stefanie Voegele and could meet the four-time French Open champion Henin in the round of eight.

Serena is 8-6 lifetime against her bitter rival Henin, but the Belgian star is 2-0 in their meetings at Roland Garros. And Henin is 4-1 when they meet on red clay, the surface, of course, in Paris. The reigning Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Serena captured her lone French Open title in 2002.

Henin hasn't played in Paris since titling here in 2007, as she retired from tennis, while ranked No. 1 at the time, in the spring of 2008, only to return at the beginning of this season. Henin, who lost to Serena in this year's Aussie Open championship bout, captured French Open titles in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007. 12th seeded Maria Sharapova and 22nd-seeded Henin are destined to face each other in the third round, with the winner likely to face in-form Stosur in a last-16 clash.

Serena or Henin could tangle with former top-ranked star Jelena Jankovic in the semifinals. Jankovic is seeded fourth at this particular fortnight. Meanwhile, second-seeded Venus Williams, the '02 French runner-up to Serena, could face fifth-seeded 2004 French Open finalist Elena Dementieva in the quarters or sixth-seeded and defending Roland Garros titlist Svetlana Kuznetsova in the semis. The 2009 Wimbledon runner-up Venus, like her younger sister, will open her Parisian stay against a Swiss player, veteran Patty Schnyder, who is 0-10 lifetime against Venus.

Kuznetsova upended former No. 1 Dinara Safina, this year's ninth seed, in last year's all-Russian finale here and was the '07 runner-up to the great Henin. In addition to the No. 1 Serena, No. 2 Venus, No. 4 Jankovic, No. 5 Dementieva, No. 6 Kuznetsova and No. 9 Safina, the other top-10 seeds in Paris are No. 3 U.S. Open runner-up Caroline Wozniacki, No. 7 Samantha Stosur, No. 8 Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 10 Victoria Azarenka. World No. 10 U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters, a two-time Roland Garros runner-up, will skip this year's French major due to a foot injury. The French Open will get underway on Sunday

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