Six women have a chance of leaving Roland Garros with the No.1 ranking. WTA Insider breaks down the scenarios ahead of the French Open.
WTA Insider Courtney Nguyen
May 23, 2018

PARIS, France - World No.1 Simona Halep will have to make the semifinals or better at Roland Garros to have a chance to hold on to her top spot. A finalist in Paris last year, the 26-year-old Romanian will need to hold off five women - Caroline Wozniacki, Garbiñe Muguruza, Elina Svitolina, Karolina Pliskova, and Caroline Garcia - to extend her 31-week tally atop the WTA rankings after Paris.

WTA Insider breaks down the No.1 scenarios:

No.1 Simona Halep (Race Position: No.1)

The current No.1 is defending 1,300 points in Paris after her second final appearance last year. Through the French Open, Halep will have held the No.1 ranking for 15 consecutive weeks. 

  • Halep must reach the semifinals to have a chance of retaining her top spot. 
  • If No.2 Wozniacki advances to the quarterfinals, then Halep would need to reach the final to have a shot at No.1
  • Halep would secure No.1 by winning her first major title in Paris 
Caroline Wozniacki has previously held the No.1 ranking for a total of 71 weeks (©Jimmie48/WTA)

No.2 Caroline Wozniacki (Race Position: No.2)

The reigning Australian Open champion is the front-runner to retake the No.1 ranking after relinquishing it to Halep in February. The Dane is defending 430 points after making the quarterfinals last year, where she lost in three tough sets to eventual champion Jelena Ostapenko. A quarterfinalist twice in Paris (2010, 2017), Wozniacki is bidding to make her first French Open semifinal or better. 

  • Wozniacki would secure the No.1 ranking outright by winning the title, regardless of any other results.
  • If Halep and Muguruza fail to make the semifinals AND Svitolina, Garcia, or Pliskova do not win the title, Wozniacki would regain the No.1 ranking. 
Garbiñe Muguruza is the youngest active multiple-Slam champion, having won 2016 Roland Garros and 2017 Wimbledon (©Jimmie48/WTA).

No.3 Garbiñe Muguruza (Race Position: No.11)

The 2016 champion made the Round of 16 last year, losing to Kristina Mladenovic in three sets. The French Open has been the Spaniard's most consistent Slam, having made the second week in her last four appearances. Muguruza is looking to recapture the No.1 ranking since Halep overtook her after the China Open last fall. 

  • Muguruza must reach the semifinals to have a chance at No.1.
  • If Wozniacki wins her opening round, then Muguruza would need to reach the final for a chance at No.1.
  • Muguruza would also move to No.1 by winning the title, so long as she does not face Wozniacki in the championship match. 
Elina Svitolina has now won her last eight finals after capturing her 12th title in Rome last week (Getty Images)

**Elina Svitolina, Caroline Garcia and Karolina Pliskova would need to win the title and have other results fall in their favor in order to have a chance at No.1.**

No.4 Elina Svitolina (Race Position: No.4)

Coming into Paris after a successful title defense in Rome, the 23-year-old Ukrainian is looking to better her quarterfinal run last year, where she lost to Halep. 

In addition to winning her maiden Slam, Svitolina would need Wozniacki to lose before the semifinals AND Halep fail to reach the final. Svitolina is bidding to become the first Ukrainian World No.1. 

Karolina Pliskova - Madrid 2018 - ©Jimmie48/WTA
Karolina Pliskova has hit 198 aces so far this season, leading the tour. (©Jimmie48/WTA)

No.6 Karolina Pliskova (Race Position: No.6)

Already having her best clay season, after winning Stuttgart and advancing to the Madrid semifinals, the 26-year-old Czech is looking to return to No.1 for the first time since the US Open last fall.

Pliskova would need to win the title with Wozniacki losing in the opening round, Halep failing to reach the semifinal, and Muguruza falling short of the final. 

Caroline Garcia was ranked just inside the Top 30 when she made her run to the quarterfinals last year (©Jimmie48/WTA)

No.7 Caroline Garcia (Race Position: No.10)

Is this the year a French woman lifts the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen for the first time since Mary Pierce in 2000 and sat atop the WTA rankings since Amelie Mauresmo in 2004? Garcia has enjoyed a successful 2018 campaign so far, consolidating her stunning rise into the Top 10 last fall when she won back-to-back titles in Wuhan and Beijing to qualify for her first BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, where she advanced to the semifinals. 

The 24-year-old comes into Paris off two semifinals in Stuttgart and Madrid, as well as a quarterfinal showing in Rome. A surprise quarterfinalist here last year, Garcia would need to win the title with Wozniacki falling before the Round of 16, Halep failing to reach the semifinals, and Muguruza not reaching the final.

Main draw play at Roland Garros begins on Sunday, May 27th.