The draw is set for the next two weeks on the terre battue - what are the biggest storylines headed into the second Grand Slam of 2017?
WTA Insider Courtney Nguyen

PARIS, France -- The draw for 2017 Roland Garris is out.

World No. 1 Angelique Kerber and No.2 Karolina Pliskova anchor the draw, but the big stories coming into focus surround defending champion Garbiñe Muguruza, and the title contenders coming into the City of Light surfing a wave of confidence. 

Here are WTA Insider's top four takeaways from the draw.

Garbiñe Muguruza has a tough road to her title defense

The defending champion is seeded No.4 and was drawn into the top half along with No.1 Angelique Kerber. Muguruza, who comes into Paris off a semifinal retirement in Rome last week due to a neck injury, opens against 2010 champion Francesca Schiavone before a possible second-round match against one of the most dangerous of the unseeded players in Estonia's Anett Kontaveit.

From there the road gets even trickier. The Spaniard could then face an always dangerous Yulia Putintseva, who was a quarterfinalist here last year, before a potential showdown in the Round of 16 against one of the hottest players of the season, France's No.1 Kristina Mladenovic.

And that's just to get to the quarterfinals.

Muguruza will have to be sharp from the start.

Elina Svitolina's title chances just got better

Of the Top 8 seeds, Svitolina came away as the big draw winner. The No.5 seed, who leads the WTA with four titles and 31 match wins this season, arrives in Paris as confident as she's ever been after beating Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova en route to her biggest clay title in Rome last week. She was drawn into the bottom half of the draw in Halep's quarter.

Svitolina opens against Yaroslava Shvedova in the first round and could face a very tricky second round against an in-form Mona Barthel (Svitolina beat a tired Barthel 3-6, 6-0, 6-0 last week), and the first seeded player she could face is No.29 seed Ana Konjuh.

Madison Keys and Elena Vesnina are the other top seeds in Svitolina's section, but both women have struggled on clay. The Ukrainian's biggest threat before the quarterfinals is No.17 seed Anastasia Sevastova. This is a very workable path for Svitolina, who has advanced past the third round of a Slam just once. That came here in 2015, when she made her first Slam quarterfinal. 

All eyes on Simona Halep's ankle

There's no question the field is open this year in Paris, but to the extent there was a favorite for the title, that mantle belonged to Halep before she turned her ankle in the Rome final. Earlier this week, Halep revealed tests showed a ligament tear and that doctors gave her a 50/50 chance to play Roland Garros, but she's been practicing regularly on-site and has been hitting a very clean ball (though her movement has been understandably tentative). 

Halep's chances for her first major title may come down to the health of her ankle, as her early draw is one that a healthy Halep should handle with relative ease. The 2014 Roland Garros runner-up, who ranks at No.1 in the WTA Insider Clay Court Power Rankings, opens her tournament against Jana Cepelova and the first seed she could face is No.26 seed Daria Kasatkina - who is also coming off an ankle injury sustained in Rome - in the third round. A potential Rome rematch awaits against Svitolina in the quarterfinals but, if Halep can get that far, she has as good a chance as anyone to win the title. 

Opportunity awaits for Svetlana Kuznetsova and Kristina Mladenovic

With Kerber still struggling to find her form and Muguruza dealt a difficult hand, who will step in to take advantage of a top half that is ripe with opportunity? 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and major threat Kristina Mladenovic look ready to pounce. 

Kuznestova is the No.8 seed in the top quarter of the draw, which includes an injury-addled Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova, and 2016 semifinalists Sam Stosur and Kiki Bertens. With no expectations on Kvitova, who is playing her first tournament since the horrific attack in her home in December, Stosur and Bertens may be the biggest threats to Kuznetsova before the semifinals. 


good practice sessions today at @rolandgarros with @simonahalep , @dc10s , @agassi, @carlosmartinezcomet

A post shared by Светлана Кузнецова/Kuznetsova (@svetlanak27) on

The buzz surrounding No.13 seed Mladenovic has been building over the last two months and it will come to a head on home soil at Roland Garros. The 24-year-old has been a regular feature in the best matches of the season, but has never made it past the third round in Paris. Mladenovic is in the second quarter of the draw along with Muguruza and Dominika Cibulkova and she opens against Jennifer Brady.

It's still a potentially tricky path for the Frenchwoman -- she could have to play Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, Muguruza, Venus Williams, or Daria Gavrilova en route to the semifinals -- but Mladenovic loves the stage and the moment, and the Parisian crowd will be loud and proud as they urge her on towards a major breakthrough. 

First-round matches to watch: Angelique Kerber vs. Ekaterina Makarova, Garbiñe Muguruza vs. Francesca Schiavone, Madison Keys vs. Ashleigh Barty, Roberta Vinci vs. Monica Puig, Venus Williams vs. Wang Qiang, Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Christina McHale, Camila Giorgi vs. Oceane Dodin, Alizé Cornet vs. Timea Babos, Anett Kontaveit vs. Monica Niculescu

Potential second-round matches to watch: Kerber vs. Lesia Tsurenko, Muguruza vs. Kontaveit, Venus Williams vs. Amanda Anisimova, Timea Bacsinszky vs. Julia Goerges, Elina Svitolina vs. Mona Barthel, Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Naomi Osaka, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs. Lucie Safarova

Hear more about the draw and the exciting fortnight to come from the latest episode of the WTA Insider Podcast: