The French Open is stacked with American women, both wily veterans and up and comers trying to cement their place in tennis. Serena is still No. 1 but there 16 other American women trying to make a name for themselves.
Varvara Lepchenko will face off against fellow American Madison Keys in the first round. Keys had to pull out of the semifinals of Strasbourg. Neither player has played well on the European clay however Keys did make it to the final of Charleston. It should be an entertaining match and the winner will have a good chance to make it to at least the third round of the French Open.
American Women Seek Success at 2015 French Open
Madison Brengle will take on the No. 26 seed Sam Stosur on Monday. Brengle has shown potential but has not won a match since making the semifinals of Stuttgart in April. The mountain gets bigger for Brengle is that Stosur is coming off of a win in Strasbourg.
CoCo Vandeweghe drew the French wildcard Manon Arcangiloli. The winner will face either Karin Knapp or Caroline Wozniacki in the second round. Vandeweghe has a very good chance to win despite struggling in recent months. It will be important for her to take it a round at a time and not worry about what may or may not lay ahead. She is an underrated player and has the potential to knock a seeded player out.
In all American match Sloane Stephens and Venus Williams will face off on Monday. They were supposed to meet in Miami in 2013 but Venus withdrew. Venus is the No. 15 seed but Stephens is coming off of a great showing in Strasbourg making it all the way to the semifinals. If both players are healthy and focused it should be a one of the best matches of the day.
Both players have shown that they are capable of beating top ranked players. Venus Williams is considered by many to be a dark horse. Stephens has showed a lot of potential but faltered at crucial moments. The good news for American tennis fans is whomever wins has a good chance to make it to the fourth round.
Alison Riske drew the 2012 French Open Champion and future hall of famer Sarah Errani in the first round. Riske was able to beat Errani last year on hard court in straight sets but Errani is a totally different player on clay. Bethanie Mattek-Sands has had a lot of success in doubles but has struggled in her singles career. She will take on Irina-Camelia Begu in the first round.
American teenager Taylor Townsend has really struggled on the clay. She lost in the first round of the ITF Indian Harbour Beach tournament to a wildcard and lost in the first round of qualifying in Strasbourg. She will take on face Tereza Smitkova in the first round. While Smitkova may not be a household name she is a solid clay court player. She made it to the quarterfinals of an ITF tournament and beat her fellow countrywoman Lucie Safarova in Prague. Townsend did make it to the third round of the French Open last year so it safe to say expectations are high. Most likely Timea Bacsinszky will be waiting for the winner in the second round.
Christina McHale got a decent draw. She faces qualifier Lourdes Dominguez Lino. She will likely face the No. 10 seed Andrea Petkovic if she wins. McHale played very well in Rome making it through qualifying and all the way to the quarterfinals. She had quality wins over countrywoman Lauren Davis and Sarah Errani en route to the quarterfinals.
Lauren Davis and Louisa Chirico both played and lost on Sunday. Davis was able to push Lucic-Baroni to three sets but was unable to close it out. Chirico won the French Open wild card with a strong ITF clay season but lost to the No. 9 seed Ekaterina Makarova. Other American women playing at Roland Garros are Irina Falconi, Shelby Rogers, Nicole Gibbs and Alexa Glatch.
Serena seems destined to go the furthest of the Americans in this year’s French Open on both the men’s and women’s side. However the end of her career is coming which means the young American women are going to have to fill a huge gap in American tennis. American tennis fans will be anxious to see who can step up at Roland Garros this year.
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