The main draw is out for Roland Garros, which will be played under conditions that could prove to be an equalizer on the field. World No.2 Simona Halep takes her 14-match winning streak into the tournament she adores, with 2016 champion Garbiñe Muguruza looking dangerous, Victoria Azarenka continuing to surge, and three-time champion Serena Williams bidding to add to her title haul.
But with Roland Garros crowing a maiden major champion in each of the last four years, are we in for another Parisian surprise? And how much will the unique conditions of the event - cool and wet weather, a new roof over Court Philippe Chatrier, new balls - impact the field?
To see the full draw, click here.
Top eight seeds: 1. Simona Halep, 2. Karolina Pliskova, 3. Elina Svitolina, 4. Sofia Kenin, 5. Kiki Bertens, 6. Serena Williams, 7. Petra Kvitova, 8. Aryna Sabalenka
Top half: Halep, Svitolina, Bertens, Serena
Bottom half: Pliskova, Kenin, Kvitova, Sabalenka
Projected Round of 16: Halep-Vondrousova, Konta-Bertens, Svitolina-Mertens, Azarenka-Serena, Sabalenka-Muguruza, Rybakina-Kenin, Kvitova-Keys, Martic-Pliskova
Last year's final: Ashleigh Barty d. Marketa Vondrousova, 6-1, 6-3.
Top 32 Withdrawals: No.1 Ashleigh Barty, No.3 Naomi Osaka, No.7 Bianca Andreescu, No.10 Belinda Bencic, No.32 Wang Qiang.
Different conditions, different Roland Garros.
With match-play at a premium, a change from Babolat balls to Wilson balls, and the forecast calling for cool, wet conditions over the fortnight, any attempt to predict the results in Paris is a muddy one. Who has the edge? Players with matches on clay under their belts? Players who are in form? Players who have historically performed well at Roland Garros? Players whose games play into heavy conditions?
"It's going to be a lot about adjustment," Victoria Azarenka said. "I played today for the first time on the courts here after it rained. It's very different. The court feels really, really heavy.
"It's going to be about adaptation day by day. It's not going to be like a normal Roland Garros where the ball bounces high and the court gets faster. I feel like it's going to be something different."
Pre-tournament favorite Simona Halep told reporters she would need a few more practice sessions to get a good feel for the conditions. Halep is set to kick off her tournament on Sunday.
"It's a big difference between Rome and here, that's for sure, 15 degrees less," Halep said, laughing. "I feel the cold. I feel like struggling a little bit. But for everybody it is the same."
One notable historic statistic when it comes to Roland Garros champions: A Top 10 seed has won the women's singles title in all but three occasions, in 1933 (Margaret Scriven), 2010 (Francesca Schiavone) and 2017 (Jelena Ostapenko).
Here are the Top 10 seeds in Paris: 1. Simona Halep, 2. Karolina Pliskova, 3. Elina Svitolina, 4. Sofia Kenin, 5. Kiki Bertens, 6. Serena Williams, 7. Petra Kvitova, 8. Aryna Sabalenka, 9. Johanna Konta, and 10. Victoria Azarenka.
First Quarter: Streaking Simona and her familiar foes.
Two weeks ago at the US Open, players who made their mark at the WTA's summer hardcourt events were the same ones battling it out for the title. The final was a redux of what was to be the Western & Southern Open final between Naomi Osaka and Victoria Azarenka and Jennifer Brady followed up her maiden WTA title run at the Topshelf Open in Lexington, Kentucky to make her first major semifinal.
Then there was Serena Williams, who proved once again that she does not need to be on a roll to make the late stages at the Slams.
Using that same rubric, all eyes should be on World No.2 Simona Halep. The 2018 champion is on the shortlist of favorites at Roland Garros every year, but never has she gone into Paris on the hot streak she is on now.
Halep has won two clay titles since the restart, defeating Elise Mertens to win the Prague Open and then besting Karolina Pliskova and Garbiñe Muguruza in back-to-back matches to win her first Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome. In all, Halep is riding a 14-match winning streak, with her last loss coming to Muguruza in the Australian Open semifinals, a reminder that the whole of her 2020 season has been strong from the start.
"I'm honored to hear that I am the favorite, people thinking that I'm the favorite," Halep said. "But I don't look in that direction. I know that most of the players are favorite because everyone is working hard, everyone is ready for this tournament. So I'm not going into that too much. I just try to play my chance, try to play every match, and we will see how is going to be in the end."
Halep sits atop the draw as the top seed, with No.5 seed Kiki Bertens as the other high seed in her quarter. Halep opens against Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo, and her quarter is full of potentially dangerous players who have beaten Halep before, but have yet to show their top form.
Halep could face 25th seed Amanda Anisimova in the third round, rematch of their quarterfinal here last year which the young American dominated. Last year's finalist, Marketa Vondrousova, is playing well after making the semifinals in Rome and could face Halep in the Round of 16. The Czech has won both their meetings. And then there's Bertens herself, who is nursing an Achilles injury but who has beaten Halep in two finals, including last year in Madrid. The two could face off in the quarterfinals.
The top section also features four big popcorn matches, including the marquee match-up between last year's semifinalist and No.9 seed Johanna Konta and Coco Gauff. A 2018 junior champion, Gauff is making her main draw debut in Paris. Konta and Gauff are scheduled to play on Day 1.
"I'm very clear on the fact that I'm going in playing another professional tennis player who is one of the best ranked in the world," Konta said. "It doesn't matter if she's 14 or 40. I think she's there for a reason. It's going out on court respecting the player that I'm about to play.
"I'm going to be playing against the tennis that she brings, not her social media following, not her persona. I'm going out there to play the player that she is, and equally she is with me."
Another match to keep an eye on is Vondrousova's opening round against Iga Swiatek. The 19-year-old from Poland made her first Round of 16 at a Slam here last year. Also notable is the battle of Russians, as 28th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova faces Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Second Quarter: US Open Redux
Serena Williams? Check. Victoria Azarenka? Check. Tsvetana Pironkova? Check. Throw in Elise Mertens, Anett Kontaveit, and Yulia Putintseva and this quarter has the feel of the New York fortnight.
Serena and Azarenka are the ones to watch in this section, and the two could face off in a rematch of their US Open semifinal in the Round of 16. As she did in New York, Serena will open against Kristie Ahn and will face either Andrea Petkovic or her New York quarterfinal opponent, Tsvetana Pironkova.
"I love it here," Serena said. "Obviously I feel like I'm so close to doing better, just playing better. Honestly, I just need to keep playing matches and keep playing people."
Towards the end of her semifinal loss to Azarenka in New York, Serena took a medical timeout to address an achilles injury. The 23-time major champion said she is not 100%, but would not be playing if she was concerned.
"I wouldn't be playing if I didn't think I could perform," Serena said. "I'm not at 100% physically. But I don't know any athlete that ever plays physically when they're feeling perfect. That's just something I think as athletes we have to play with."
While Serena spent her last week training on clay at the Mouratoglou Academy in Nice, Azarenka went straight from the US Open final to the first round of Rome, where she faced Venus Williams. The two could meet again in the second round of Paris. Azarenka has had a spotty relationship with the terre battue, but she has made the semifinals at Roland Garros in 2013 and two quarterfinals.
"I'm actually excited of kind of building up my game on clay," said Azarenka, who has won just one of her 21 titles on clay. "The second year I enjoy it after 16 years on tour. It's about time to make some evolution on clay. I'm looking forward to it."
Azarenka opens against Danka Kovinic, who is coming off a very good qualifying campaign in Rome. The Montenegran defeated Julia Goerges and Belinda Bencic in back-to-back matches before losing to Mertens. Venus opens against a familiar foe, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova. The Slovakian has a 2-1 record against Venus and has won their last two meetings, including a three-set win at the 2014 French Open.
No.3 seed Elina Svitolina and No.16 seed Mertens anchor the other section of this quarter, with No.17 seed Kontaveit and No. 27 seed Alexandrova also in this section. Mertens and Kontaveit could clash in the toughest third-round match by ranking, pitting the two hardest working players since the restart against each other. This is a big opportunity for a quarterfinal run for each of these seeds.
Third Quarter: Open for Business
No.4 seed Sofia Kenin and No.8 seed Aryna Sabalenka anchor this wide-open quarter that also features 2016 champion Garbiñe Muguruza's. The Spaniard looked back in form last week in Rome, where she defeated Stephens, Gauff, Konta, and Azarenka before losing in three sets to Halep.
Muguruza is carrying a slight upper leg injury from Rome, but her game and hunger were there. Muguruza's capacity for scrappy, smart, battling tennis could make a difference if the weather turns cool.
"I played many years where the tournament was a little bit rainy and gray," Muguruza said. "I went good. I'm not too concerned about the weather.
"I know it's going to be tricky. But I'm excited to be here. I look at it in a positive way, the fact that they can still make another Grand Slam happening. I don't really care [about] the weather or the month. I'm just happy to be here competing."
Also floating in this quarter is US Open semifinalist Jennifer Brady, who will be playing her first tournament since New York. Seeded 21st in Paris, Brady's heavy game could find good success at Roland Garros, but whether she's been able to prepare as well as needed remains a question. Brady and Muguruza could face each other as early as the third round.
Elena Rybakina spent the weekend advancing to her tour-leading fifth final of the season in Strasbourg, a welcome turn for the 14th seed who went into the spring lockdown as one of the hottest players on tour. Rybakina faces a potential third-round match against another young talent, Karolina Muchova, and could face No.4 seed Kenin in the Round of 16.
Fourth Quarter: Czech mates
No.2 seed Karolina Pliskova and No.7 seed Petra Kvitova anchor the last quarter of the draw. Pliskova looked to have finally found her game en route to the final in Rome last week, but was forced to retire due to a thigh injury. The status of that injury could determine her success in Paris, where she was a semifinalist in 2017. Since that run, Pliskova has not progressed past the third round and this year that third-round opponent could be the always dangerous Sloane Stephens.
"I'm lucky I'm going to be playing probably Tuesday, so there's a couple more days to heal," Pliskova said. The Czech said her leg is getting better and she has been able to practice in Paris. "Hopefully we going to be almost 100%. Not there yet, but getting there."
Kvitova is playing her first tournament since taking a tough Round of 16 loss to Shelby Rogers at the US Open, in which she held match points but lost in a deciding tiebreaker. The Czech lefty played well in New York and her big power always gives her a chance to do well on clay.
Another seed to look out for in this final quarter is 12th seed Madison Keys. Like Pliskova and Kvitova, Keys has powered her way to one Roland Garros semifinal before and she has played well in cool conditions on clay. Keys opens against Zhang Shuai and could face Alize Cornet in the second round before a third-round against 18th seed Angelique Kerber.
Notable first-round matches: Swiatek vs. Vondrousova, Konta vs. Gauff, Tomljanovic vs. Sakkari, Kuznetsova vs. Pavlyuchenkova, Kontaveit vs. Garcia, Bouzkova vs. Kanepi, Pironkova vs. Petkovic, Sabalenka vs. Pegula, Keys vs. Zhang, Siegemund vs. Mladenovic, Goerges vs. Riske, Ostapenko vs. Brengle.