PARIS, France – Women’s doubles champions Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova will begin the defence of their French Open crown against Nadiia Kichenok and Abigail Spears.
Sunday’s draw also threw up a number of interesting combinations in the bottom quarter, where No.2 seeds and Australian Open runners-up Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic could face the combination that beat them in Melbourne, Samantha Stosur and Zhang Shuai, in the final eight.
However, the Czech combination at the top of the draw are the team to beat. Respectively the WTA World No.1 and 2 for doubles, they won their first major crown together at Roland Garros 2018, defeating Eri Hozumi and Makoto Ninomiya, 6-3, 6-3 in the final.
READ MORE: Doubles draw in full
They further established themselves as the premier doubles pairing in the game by winning Wimbledon and making a push to the runners-up spot at the WTA Tour final, helping them to the No.1 seeding for the Paris tournament.
Should they negotiate their first-round match against a Ukrainian-American combination, who are ranked respectively 51 and 29, possible future opponents include the duo of No.7 seeds Nicole Melichar and Karolina Peschke, who they beat at the All England club last summer, and Siniakova’s former partner Lucie Hradecka, who has teamed up with Andreja Klepac.
Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski and China’s Yifan Xu head up the second quarter of the draw, will face Irina Bara and Dalila Jakupovic in round one and are possible semifinal rivals for the top seeds.
Meanwhile, Babos and Mladenovic have been drawn against Chinese duo Wang Qiang and Jiang Xinyu in the first round, and face a testing path to the final.
Stosur and Zhang, who are seeded No.5, will set up a repeat of their Australian showdown if both couples reach the quarters, though Victoria Azarenka and Ashleigh Barty represent potential third-round opponents for the Australian-Chinese pairing.
Also in the lower half of the draw are No.3 seeds Hsieh Su-Wei, a winner in 2014 with Peng Shuai, and Barbora Strycova, who face each other in singles on Monday. They will, however, team up later in the week to face Asia Muhammad and Maria Sanchez.
No.6 seeds Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka are the main threat in that third quarter.