The upcoming French Open will play host to a slew of tough competitors. Given the cohort of surging clay court performers who won't feature among the Top 32 seeds, intriguing match-ups are all but guaranteed from the first round.
Before the draw is unveiled on Friday, brush up on those unseeded and looming, the players most likely to cause an early upset and make a deep run at the second Grand Slam of the season.
Anett KONTAVEIT (EST): The heir apparent to Kaia Kanepi's long-held Estonian No.1, Kontaveit first made waves on the quick hardcourts at the inaugural Ladies Open Biel Bienne, rolling into her maiden WTA final. Taking that form to Stuttgart, she earned her first Top 10 win over reigning Roland Garros winner Garbiñe Muguruza en route to the quarterfinals.
Kontaveit saved the best for Rome, where she qualified for the main draw and promptly stunned World No.1 Angelique Kerber, backing that up with an even more emphatic win over an in-form Mirjana Lucic-Baroni to reach her third quarterfinal out of her last three tournaments. Get to know the 22-year-old ahead of what will be her second main draw appearance at the French Open.
Kristyna PLISKOVA (CZE): While many wonder whether Karolina Pliskova can translate her hardcourt success onto slower surfaces, twin sister Kristyna have proven that sort of struggle is hardly genetic.
Pliskova began the clay court swing at home, reaching her second career final at the J&T Banka Prague Open. Playing a week before Roland Garros at the Internationaux de Strasbourg, the Czech lefty is into another quarterfinal, avenging a tough 2016 Australian Open loss to Monica Puig in two sets.
Holding the record for most aces in a match, Pliskova's serve can penetrate even on clay, hitting 21 aces through her first two matches, and appears on the cusp of her first statement win after narrowly falling to Dominika Cibulkova in a third-set tiebreak at the BNP Paribas Open.
Katerina SINIAKOVA (CZE): Speaking of young, talented Czechs on the precipice of a big win, Katerina Siniakova came perilously close to knocking out Kerber at the Mutua Madrid Open, leading 5-3 in the final set before the now-World No.1 came back to win.
Siniakova is in the midst of a career-best season, kicking off the year with her first title at the Shenzhen Open, and has flown even higher in doubles, reaching four finals with new partner Lucie Hradecka. The 21-year-old made the quarterfinals in Prague and pushed Svetlana Kuznetsova to a tiebreak at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia; can she take that next step in Paris?
Jelena OSTAPENKO (LAT): The youngest player on our list, Ostapenko can beat anyone on any given day - particularly former No.1 Caroline Wozniacki, who has taken two losses to the teenager during the clay court season.
Ostapenko has the type of power that can hit through all surfaces, as evidenced by her runs to the Volvo Car Open and Prague semifinals. Seeded in Paris last year, the streaky Latvian can blow hot and cold more than once in any given match, barreling through the opening set against Muguruza only to drop the next two in quick succession.
Even if she doesn't draw a top seed, her first round is still likely to be highly entertaining.
Francesca SCHIAVONE (ITA): The 2010 French Open champion has done all she could to make her potentially final season one to remember.
Nearly out of the main draw acceptance list, Schiavone went on a tear to reach back-to-back finals at the Claro Open Colsanitas and the Grand Prix de SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem to not only guarantee her place on the entry list, but also rocket back up nearly 100 spots in the WTA rankings as she won nine matches in a row.
Likely to get a big court assignment, can the French crowd inspire the former World No.4 to one last miracle run?
Lucie SAFAROVA (CZE): Safarova hit her career zenith at this very tournament two years ago, dethroning defending champ Maria Sharapova en route to her first Grand Slam final.
The Czech veteran enjoyed a strong start to the season - reaching the final at the Hungarian Ladies Open and the Miami Open quarterfinals - but injuries and near misses against tough opposition have stalled her progress on clay.
Still, Safarova has reached the third round or better for the last three years. A player of extreme match-ups - she leads Kerber 4-1 but trails Pliskova 2-5 in head-to-heads, for example - she could easily catch fire on the dirt with the right draw.
Shelby ROGERS (USA): Who says Americans can't win on clay? Rogers has spent the better part of a year defying the convention since her career breakthrough at the 2016 French Open.
Out for most of the preceding year with a knee injury, Rogers upset Petra Kvitova and outgunned Irina-Camelia Begu to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal. The 24-year-old kicked off 2017's clay court season in similar fashion, reaching the last eight at the Volvo Car Open and is still going at the Internationaux de Strasbourg, into the quarterfinals there, as well. Armed with a big game, can she hit through the field and better last year's finish?
Irina-Camelia BEGU (ROU): Back to Begu, the Romanian is one of a healthy contingent who could make waves at Roland Garros.
A comfortable clay courter, Begu reached the quarterfinals in Charleston and the semis at the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup, and upset Elena Vesnina to reach the Round of 16 in Madrid. She won a dramatic three-setter against CoCo Vandeweghe along the way to making the second week.
Should she manage to conserve her energy - all three of last year's wins went the distance - the big-hitting Begu can definitely do damage over the fortnight.
Julia GOERGES (GER): Since she first stunned the tennis world in 2011 by winning the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Julia Goerges has become one to watch - particularly when the tour turns to clay.
Goerges was a Fed Cup heroine at the Porsche Arena in April, and is one of the few women to beat an on-fire Kristina Mladenovic since February in Rome - eventually reaching the Round of 16.
Her loss to Muguruza could have gone either way, setting her in good stead to push another big name in Paris.
Misaki DOI (JPN): Doi was a Top 30 player last year, and was in the midst of a tough patch of form when the clay court season began.
Moving on to Madrid, the Japanese star earned her first Top 10 win over Madison Keys, reaching the third round. She backed up the result in Strasbourg, where she'll play Yaroslava Shvedova for a spot in the semifinals.
Winning just one match in her five previous French Open appearances, can Doi continue her surprising run of consistency on clay?