Halep, Pliskova – a Grand Slam title and the No. 1 ranking at stake

Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova have more than just the French Open Ladies Grand Slam title to play for.

With the World No. 1, Angelique Kerber being bounced out in the first round and the World No. 2, Serena Williams not competing, the coveted No. 1 WTA ranking is now also up for grabs, with Halep and Pliskova the main contenders.

Going into the French Open, the 3rd seed, Halep had won the Madrid Open title and then narrowly lost to Elina Svitolina in the final of the Italian Open, after rolling her ankle, which made her a doubtful starter for the second Grand Slam of the year. 

Despite the injury scare, Halep, the 2014 finalist, arrived in Paris as the favourite and has not disappointed. She has been in commanding form throughout this year’s tournament and is yet to drop a set. 

She’ll undergo her first real test tomorrow as she again faces Svitolina, who is seeded 5th.

In the other half of this draw is the 2nd seed, Karolina Pliskova, who like Halep has been a Grand Slam finalist and would love to do one better.

Her French Open preparations have not gone as smoothly, only managing two quarter-finals appearances on her way to Paris.

She has had a tougher road to the quarter-finals, and was a lucky fourth round winner against Verónica Cepede Royg of Paraguay yesterday.

Her next opponent is Caroline Garcia of France, and judging by her performance against countrywoman, Alize Cornet yesterday, things aren’t going to get any easier for Pliskova.