Can Iga Swiatek become the first player in 14 years to successfully defend the women's singles title in Paris? Check out our form stats compiled by Andy Swales...
"Few people had even heard of Swiatek before last October's French Open but seven months later the reigning champion looks in great shape to successfully defend her title."
Unlike the men's event, which has been dominated by Rafa Nadal for the past decade and a half, the women's singles at Roland Garros has been a somewhat more unpredictable affair.
Not since Justine Henin in 2007 has anyone won back-to-back titles, and even Serena Williams - a winner of 23 Slams - was never quite as dominant on clay as she was on other surfaces.
Serena, winner of seven Wimbledon and Australian crowns, along with six titles in New York, 'only won' the French Open three times.
The last 14 French Open titles have been shared among 12 players, while the most recent five finals have been contested by nine different players. Only Simona Halep has appeared more than once since 2017.
And as we head towards the 2021 instalment which starts on May 30th, there are a number of potential champions.
Naomi Osaka, a winner of four Grand Slam titles since September 2018, has never reached a clay court final on the WTA Tour.
All 10 of her finals - of which she has won seven - have been on hard court. In her build up towards Paris, she has won just one of three matches, which included a straight sets defeat to American Jessica Pegula in Rome.
In four attempts at Roland Garros she has never reached the second week and, although she may one day hold aloft the Suzanne Lenglen Trophy, it's unlikely to happen next month despite being the hottest property in women's tennis today.
Latest odds for the women's singles in Paris
Probably the leading two contenders are Ashleigh Barty and reigning champion Iga Swiatek.
Barty, champion in 2019, opted to remain in Australia for much of last year following the outbreak of Covid.
She played neither Roland Garros nor Flushing Meadows in 2020, and earlier this year reached the quarter-finals in Melbourne where she lost to Karolina Muchova.
She won the prestigious hard court title in Miami in early April, before travelling to Europe for the clay court season.
Her build up to Paris has been good, winning the title in Stuttgart before losing the final in Madrid.
Swiatek, meanwhile, created one of the biggest shocks in tennis history by winning in Paris last October.
She started the tournament as the world number 54 but proceeded to win seven straight matches without dropping a single set.
It was also her first ever title on the WTA Tour since when she's added two more in Adelaide and Rome.
Her recent victory at the Italian Open came courtesy of a 6-0/6-0 victory over Karolina Pliskova in the final.
Few people had even heard of Swiatek before last October's French Open but seven months later the reigning champion looks in great shape to successfully defend her title.
She turns 20 during the first week of the tournament and from being a complete outsider just a few months ago, will head to Paris as the favourite.
Among her victims at Roland Garros last year was top seed Simona Halep who recently had to withdraw from the forthcoming Slam because of a torn calf muscle.
The experienced Serena Williams can't be ruled out these next two weeks, but has hardly set the world alight during her preparations for Paris.
The American, who turns 40 in September, has played just three competitive singles since losing in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.
All three were on clay, in Rome and Parma, two of which she lost in straight sets.
Latest odds for the men's singles in Paris
As for those who are seeking their first Slam successes, Aryna Sabalenka and Cori Gauff have shown decent form in recent weeks.
Sabalenka, the 23-year-old from Belarus, contested back-to-back finals against Barty in Stuttgart and Madrid.
Both went to three sets, with Sabalenka winning the latter in the Spanish capital.
She was then beaten by 17-year-old Gauff in Rome, where the teenage American lost to Swiatek at the semi-final stage.
And only last week in Parma, Gauff secured her first title of 2021 beating Serena's conqueror Katerina Siniakova in the semi-finals.
As for the rest: The 2016 champ Garbine Muguruza should always be a threat on any surface, and the inconsistent Spaniard won the hard court title in Dubai back in March.
She was also the only player to take a set from Osaka in Melbourne, and even held a match-point in their Last 16 clash.
Muguruza has only played one European clay court event during her build up to Roland Garros, losing in the Last 16 in Rome.
The other two players to mention are Sofia Kenin and Elina Svitolina. Kenin, runner-up to Swiatek last autumn, has lost six of her last seven matches and seems to be completely lacking in confidence.
All three of the American's clay court matches this year have ended in defeat.
As for Svitolina, she has reached a couple of semi-finals this year but was outplayed by Swiatek in their Rome quarter-final.
Twitter: Andy Swales@GolfStatsAlive
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Last 10 Grand Slam Results (selected players)
|Sara Sorribes Tormo||Rd-1||Rd-1||Rd-2||Rd-2||Rd-1||Rd-1||Rd-2||Rd-1||Rd-1||Rd-2|
|Patricia Maria Tig||Rd-1||Rd-3||Rd-2|
|Alison Van Uytvanck||Rd-2||Rd-2||Rd-1||Rd-1||Rd-2||Rd-2||Rd-1||Rd-1||Rd-1||Rd-4|
|Carla Suarez Navarro||Rd-2||Rd-1||Rd-4||Rd-3||Rd-2||QF||Rd-3|