World No.1 and 2019 Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty was placed at the top of the Roland Garros singles draw, which was released on Thursday.
The No.1 seed will contest her first match in Paris since her run to the title two years ago. Barty will open against World No.70 Bernarda Pera of the United States.
Barty could face more Americans down the road, with No.13 seed Jennifer Brady or No.24 seed Coco Gauff looming as a potential fourth-round opponent. Gauff will face a qualifier in the first round, while Brady opens against dangerous floater Anastasija Sevastova.
No.5 seed Elina Svitolina and No.9 seed Karolina Pliskova also landed in the top quarter, with Pliskova facing former Top 20 player Donna Vekic in the opening round. Vekic is one of the highest-ranked unseeded players in the field at World No.35.
Venus Williams, a 2002 finalist, is also in this quarter, as the former World No.1 opens against No.32 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova.
Another enticing first-round clash in that quarter features 2018 runner-up Sloane Stephens against former Top 10 player Carla Suárez Navarro. Suárez Navarro, a three-time quarterfinalist in Paris, will play her first tournament since successfully completing cancer treatment.
A blockbuster first-round clash in the second quarter pits last year's runner-up, No.4 seed Sofia Kenin, against 2017 champion Jelena Ostapenko.
If Kenin can make it deep in the event, a quarterfinal rematch of last year's final could occur, with defending champion Iga Swiatek at the bottom of that quarter.
No.8 seed Swiatek, who stormed to last year's title without the loss of a set, opens her defense against one of her long-time best friends, Kaja Juvan.
2016 champion and No.12 seed Garbiñe Muguruza also lurks in that quarter. The former World No.1 will meet rising Ukrainian teenager Marta Kostyuk in the opening round.
🇦🇺 Barty (1) vs Pera 🇺🇸— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) May 27, 2021
🇯🇵 Osaka (2) vs Tig 🇷🇴
🇧🇾 Sabalenka (3) vs Qualifiée
🇺🇸 Kenin (4) vs Ostapenko 🇱🇻
🇺🇦 Svitolina (5) vs Babel 🇫🇷
🇨🇦 Andreescu (6) vs Zidansek 🇸🇰
🇺🇸 Williams (7) vs Begu 🇷🇴
🇵🇱 Swiatek (8) vs Juvan 🇸🇰
📝👉 https://t.co/r8dsyqlxsn #RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/WDzTRGMxH2
In the bottom half, three-time champion and No.7 seed Serena Williams will open against World No.74 Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania. Begu, a former Top 25 player, has reached the fourth round at Roland Garros once, in 2016.
Williams is attempting to collect her 24th Grand Slam title as she contests Roland Garros for the 19th time. If seeds hold, Williams could face another former World No.1, Angelique Kerber, in the third round, and No.11 seed Petra Kvitova in the fourth round.
Williams's quarterfinal opponent could be one of the two top-ranked Belarusians, No.3 seed Aryna Sabalenka or No.15 seed Victoria Azarenka. Sabalenka, seeded this high in a major for the first time in her career, opens against a qualifier.
Former World No.1 Azarenka has a stern first-round clash lined up against 2009 Roland Garros champion Svetlana Kuznetsova. Azarenka has won two Grand Slams at the Australian Open and still seeks a first trip to the final in Paris.
Two Grand Slam champions lead the bottom quarter, where No.2 seed Naomi Osaka and No.6 seed Bianca Andreescu were drawn. Both of these major-winners are still seeking their first trips into the second week of Roland Garros.
Osaka faces World No.63 Patricia Maria Tig of Romania in the first round. Tig claimed her first-ever WTA title on clay last season in Istanbul after a return to the tour from maternity leave.
In her opener, Andreescu meets World No.85 Tamara Zidansek. Slovenia's Zidansek recently made her second career WTA singles final in Bogota earlier this year.
Andreescu won two clay-court matches in one event for the first time in her career just this week in Strasbourg, but she withdrew from her quarterfinal match due to a slight abdominal injury.
Also in the bottom quarter is No.20 seed and 2019 runner-up Marketa Vondrousova, who has a challenging test in the opening round against veteran Kaia Kanepi. The Estonian is known for springing big upsets in majors and has six Grand Slam quarterfinal appearances to show for it.