The Roland Garros 2021 draw is out and main draw play is set to begin on Sunday, May 30th. Click here for the full draw. 

Quick Takeaways:

  • Ashleigh Barty and Iga Swiatek were drawn in the top half and could face in the semifinals.
  • Naomi Osaka, Aryna Sabalenka, Bianca Andreescu and Serena Williams were drawn into the bottom half.
  • Serena's Road to No.24 could require wins over Angelique Kerber, Petra Kvitova, Sabalenka, and Osaka or Andreescu.

WTA Insider breaks down the favorites and the dark horses, quarter-by-quarter.

Tournament Snapshot

Top 8 Seeds: No.1 Ashleigh Barty, No.2 Naomi Osaka, No.3 Aryna Sabalenka, No.4 Sofia Kenin, No.5 Elina Svitolina, No.6 Bianca Andreescu, No.7 Serena Williams, No.8 Iga Swiatek.

Read: Breaking down the Top 32 seeds at Roland Garros

Projected Quarterfinals by Seeding: Barty vs. Svitolina, Kenin vs. Swiatek, Serena Williams vs. Aryna Sabalenka, Bianca Andreescu vs. Naomi Osaka.

Last year's final: Iga Swiatek d. Sofia Kenin, 6-4, 6-1. 

Read: Everything you need to know about Roland Garros 2021

The Barty-Svitolina Quarter

World No.1 and 2018 Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty returns to Roland Garros for the first time since her title run and she arrives in form and - hopefully - well-rested. No player has won more matches on clay than Barty this season, posting a 13-3 record. Her 13 wins are tied with Charleston champion Veronika Kudermetova and Belgrade champion Paula Badosa, but they were all tallied at the WTA 1000 and WTA 500 level, with a title run in Stuttgart and her first final in Madrid. 

Clay Power Rankings: Barty, Swiatek, Sabalenka surge as Paris looms

Barty was leading by a set and 2-1 over Coco Gauff when she retired due to arm injury in the Rome quarterfinals. But she was back on the practice courts in Paris this week and feeling well enough to play out points in a practice session with No.2 Naomi Osaka on Wednesday. 

Barty will open her tournament against No.70 Bernarda Pera and the first seed she could face in the third round is 25th seed Ons Jabeur. Based on form, she could get a rematch with Gauff in the Round of 16. The American teen is the form player in her section of the draw, which could yield a third-round encounter with Australian Open finalist and No.13 seed Jennifer Brady, who comes into Roland Garros having parted ways with coach Michael Geserer.

No.5 seed Elina Svitolina is the co-anchor of this quarter and opens against French wildcard Oceane Babel. The first seed she could face is No.32 Ekaterina Alexandrova, though Barbora Krejcikova could be the dangerous unseeded player in this section. The Czech enjoyed her singles breakthrough at Roland Garros last fall, making her first Slam Round of 16. 

Navigate the first week successfully and Svitolina could face either Rome finalist Karolina Pliskova or Australian Open semifinalist Karolina Muchova in the Round of 16. 

Sloane Stephens, who has been steadily improving in recent tournaments, could also be a danger here. A finalist in 2018, Stephens opens against Carla Suárez Navarro, who is set to play her final French Open

Ones to watch: Coco Gauff and Karolina Muchova

Gauff certainly is not coming into Roland Garros under the radar after her stellar two weeks making the Rome semifinals and sweeping the titles in Parma for her first clay title. As for Muchova, the Czech has an uncanny ability to show up big when it matters the most. She's the only player on tour to tally wins over both No.1 Barty (Australian Open) and No.2 Osaka (Madrid) this season. 

Read: 'I like the dirt now' - Gauff eyes Roland Garros success after Parma sweep

Notable First Round Matches
[9] Karolina Pliskova vs. Donna Vekic
[13] Jennifer Brady vs. Anastasija Sevastova
[25] Ons Jabeur vs. Yulia Putintseva 
[32] Ekaterina Alexandrova vs. Venus Williams
Sloane Stephens vs. Carla Suárez Navarro

Photo by WTA/Jimmie48

The Kenin-Swiatek Quarter

Defending champion Iga Swiatek is not the top seed in her quarter but all eyes will be on the Polish trailblazer, who turns 20 on the first Monday of the tournament.

Swiatek has only played seven WTA clay-court events in her career and she already holds two of the three biggest titles on tour. If there were any thoughts that Swiatek's demolition job in Paris last fall was a one-off, she quieted the whispers with her triumph in Rome one week ago, which she finished off with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Karolina Pliskova in the final. 

Swiatek will open her title defense against her good friend Kaja Juvan of Slovenia. This is the second meeting between the duo this season, with Swiatek having to rally from a nervous start to win 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 in her first match of the season in Melbourne.

The first seed Swiatek could face is No.30 Anett Kontaveit, with a potential Round of 16 against 2016 champion Garbiñe Muguruza. After a fantastic run through the start of the season on hardcourts, the Spaniard has had to battle a leg injury on the clay. She was forced to retire from Charleston and withdrew ahead of Madrid as well. 

Seeded 12th in Paris, Muguruza opens against talented Ukrainian teen Marta Kostyuk, with the winner to face either Sara Sorribes Tormo or Zheng Saisai. 2019 quarterfinalist Petra Martic is also looming in this section. The Croatian is seeded No.22 and comes in off her best result of the season, having made the semifinals in Rome.

Last year's finalist and No.4 seed Sofia Kenin will open her tournament against 2017 champion Jelena Ostapenko. Kenin is looking for her first win on clay this season, having gone 0-3 in the lead-up. 

Read: How Swiatek is managing expectations ahead of Roland Garros title defense

One to watch: Elise Mertens, Maria Sakkari, Jessica Pegula

The three remaining seeds in the Kenin section are ones to watch. No.14 seed Elise Mertens, No.17 seed Maria Sakkari and No.28 seed Jessica Pegula each have a fantastic chance to make it out of this section and into the quarterfinals. Mertens and Sakkari could square off in the third round in what would be a high-stakes encounter.

Notable First Round Matches
[4] Sofia Kenin vs. Jelena Ostapenko
[12] Garbiñe Muguruza vs. Marta Kostyuk
[22] Petra Martic vs. Camila Giorgi
[30] Anett Kontaveit vs. Viktorija Golubic

Photo by Jimmie48/WTA

The Sabalenka-Serena Quarter

Two ongoing quests could once again clash in a mouth-watering quarterfinal. Serena Williams' quest for Slam No.24 continues, as does Aryna Sabalenka's quest for her maiden Slam. The two came to a head at the Australian Open, with Serena edging Sabalenka in a pulse-pounding three-sets. Will we see a rematch in Paris?

Seeded No.7, Serena is looking to progress past the Round of 16 in Paris for the first time since making the 2016 final. While she comes into the tournament with a 1-2 record on clay this season, taking losses to Nadia Podoroska (Rome) and Katerina Siniakova (Parma), there is little doubt that she could play herself into form. 

Serena opens against Romania's Irina Camelia Begu, with the winner to face either Arantxa Rus or Mihaela Buzarnescu. The first seed Serena could face is a familiar foe, three-time major champion Angelique Kerber. No.11 seed Petra Kvitova could be waiting in the Round of 16. A semifinalist in Paris last fall, Kvitova has had a solid season so far on clay, with back-to-back quarterfinals in Stuttgart and Madrid. 

Sabalenka is seeded at No.3, the highest seeding at a Slam in her career, and she comes into Paris as a legitimate threat for the first time. The big-hitting Belarusian unlocked her clay game this season, after following up a run to the Stuttgart final by winning the Madrid Open and beating Barty in the final.

Watch 'em all: Sabalenka's 40 winners vs. Kasatkina in Madrid

Sabalenka faces a qualifier in the first round, with Aliaksandra Sasnovich or Diane Parry waiting in the second round. Sabalenka could face No.31 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the third round, a rematch of the Madrid semifinal, which the Belarusian won in straight sets.

Should Sabalenka navigate her early draw to advance to the second week of Roland Garros for the first time, who could be her Round of 16 opponent? That section is anchored by 15th seed Victoria Azarenka and 23rd seed Madison Keys. Though are former semifinalists, neither has been able to get traction on the clay so far this season. 

One to watch: Petra Kvitova

Kvitova could be primed for another deep run in Paris. Seeded No.11, the Czech may not face a Top 100 player before the third round, where she could face 21st seed Elena Rybakina. Kvitova could face Serena in a rare match-up between the duo - they have played just seven times - in the Round of 16. Should she face No.3 seed Sabalenka in the quarterfinals, their head-to-head stands at 2-2.

Notable First Round Matches

[15] Victoria Azarenka vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova
Leyla Fernandez vs. Anastasia Potapova

Photo by Jimmie48/WTA

The Osaka-Andreescu Quarter

The bottom quarter of the draw is a land of opportunity. Who will seize their chance to book a semifinal spot?

On potential, this is a great draw for both No.2 seed Naomi Osaka and No.6 seed Bianca Andreescu, who could face in the quarterfinals. Both women are looking to make the second week in Paris for the first time. Osaka has the game to do damage on clay, as evidenced by her 2019 clay season, where she made the semifinals in Stuttgart and back-to-back quarterfinals in Madrid and Rome. It's just a matter of building the confidence that comes from match wins for Osaka, and she has a draw that could help her gain just that.

Osaka opens against Patricia Maria Tig with the winner to face either Ana Bogdan or a qualifier. The first seed Osaka could face is Paula Badosa, who moved into a seeded position after 27th seed Alison Riske withdrew. This is a significant shift in the draw. Badosa has the best winning percentage on clay this season - she's gone 13-2 - and already has a win over No.1 Barty on the green clay in Charleston. A third-round clash with Osaka would be one to circle.

The two seeds that could be waiting for Osaka in the Round of 16 are Kiki Bertens and Marketa Vondrousova. Both women are two of the best clay-court players on tour but both have struggled this season. 

In Andreescu's case, this is a great chance to build up her clay-court bona fides. The 20-year-old has played just three tour-level main draw matches on clay in her entire career - she won them all - and has yet to face a player ranked higher than No.118. She comes into Paris after pulling out of Strasbourg after suffering an abdominal injury during her second-round win. She opens her tournament against Tamara Zidansek, who made the final in Bogota in April, and could face Kudermetova in the third round.

Ones to watch: Veronika Kudermetova and Paula Badosa

This quarter of the draw has two of the most high-impact players of the clay season in 29th seed Veronika Kudermetova and 33rd seed Paula Badosa. Kudermetova began the season by making her first WTA final on the hardcourts of Abu Dhabi and did not lose a set en route to her first WTA title in Charleston. She went on to compile a 13-3 record on the dirt.

Badosa looked primed to wreak havoc in the Sabalenka-Serena quarter when the draw came out but shifted into Osaka's section of the draw after Riske's withdrawal on Friday. The 23-year-old Spaniard's 13-2 record on clay this season speaks for itself. She notched semifinals in Charleston and Madrid before winning her first WTA title a week ago in Belgrade. A junior champion in Paris in 2015, Badosa began her surge up the rankings at Roland Garros last fall, where she came in ranked No.87 and proceeded to advance to her first Round of 16 at a Slam.

Notable First Round Matches

[6] Bianca Andreescu vs. Tamara Zidansek
[10] Belinda Bencic vs. Nadia Podoroska 
[19] Johanna Konta vs. Sorana Cirstea
[20] Marketa Vondrousova vs. Kaia Kanepi
[29] Veronika Kudermetova vs. Amanda Anisimova

2020 Roland Garros highlights: Swiatek seals Kenin to claim title