Paula Badosa - Australian Open 2022, Katie Boulter - Miami Open 2024

Roland Garros 2024: Popcorn matches from the women’s singles draw

The Roland Garros draw has been conducted, and the women’s singles field has produced some intriguing first round contests.

And we, at Tennishead, have shortlisted five of those standout matches:

Elina Svitolina (15) vs Karolina Pliskova

The match with perhaps the highest-profile names in features four-time Roland Garros quarter-finalist Elina Svitolina and former world No.1 Karolina Pliskova.

Pliskova has made her return to the WTA Tour this week in Strasbourg, after withdrawing from both the Madrid Open and Italian Open due to injury, losing in the first round to Clara Burel.

Svitolina has been more active in recent months, but has been unable to find the form that enabled her to reach the last-eight in Paris in 2023, also losing out to Burel in Strasbourg this week.

This will be the 10th meeting between the two tour-veterans, with Pliskova leading the head-to-head 5-4 heading into the Paris major.

Katie Boulter (26) vs Paula Badosa

British No.1 Katie Boulter may be seeded for Roland Garros this year, but it is actually her debut main draw appearance at the tournament.

And she will not have an easy start to proceedings in Paris, after drawing against former No.2 and 2021 Roland Garros quarter-finalist Paula Badosa.

Boulter is still without a main tour WTA victory on clay after suffering first round defeats in Madrid and Rome, but did pick up some important victories at a Challenger tournament in the French capital last week.

Badosa has been very open about recent injury struggles preventing her from getting to previous heights, but the Spaniard did reach the last-16 at the Italian Open last week.

This will be a first-time meeting between the two, in a rare situation where the unseeded player is perhaps the favourite.

Qinwen Zheng (7) vs Alize Cornet (WC)

Alize Cornet is making a record 69th consecutive appearance in a Grand Slam draw at Roland Garros this year, but it will also be the Frenchwoman’s last after announcing that she will retire at her home major.

And the 34-year-old has certainly got her work cut out for her, after drawing against seventh seed and Australian Open finalist Qinwen Zheng.

Zheng achieved her best result at Roland Garros two years ago when reaching the fourth round, before pushing eventual champion Iga Swiatek to three sets.

It was in that run where Zheng played Cornet for the first time, where she led 6-0 3-0 before her opponent retired.

They had a subsequent meeting last year on the clay of Rome, with Zheng once again coming out the victor, so Cornet will be hoping that the French crowd get behind her for one last hurrah.

Sloane Stephens vs Yulia Putintseva 

Sloane Stephens has been a very unpredictable player over the years, but not at Roland Garros where she has reached the second week on nine out of her 12 previous visits.

The American’s best result came back in 2018, where she made it all the way to the final before losing to Simona Halep.

Stephens has had success in the 2024 clay court season already, winning her eighth WTA title in Rouen, but is currently on a four match losing streak that includes her next opponent Yulia Putintseva.

Putintseva’s best result in this year’s clay court season came at the Madrid Open, where she had two match points against Elena Rybakina in the quarter-finals.

This will be the second consecutive year where the pair have gone head-to-head at Roland Garros, with Stephens coming out on top in 2023.

Naomi Osaka vs Lucia Bronzetti 

A lot of eyes will be on Naomi Osaka at Roland Garros this year, with the four-time Grand Slam champion still yet to surpass the third round in Paris.

The Japanese star did make a breakthrough in her clay court career at the Italian Open, after collecting her first two top 20 wins on the surface against Marta Kostyuk and Daria Kasatkina.

Osaka will have a tricky opening encounter in her return to Roland Garros this year, as she takes on Italian Lucia Bronzetti.

Although Bronzetti has never won a match at Roland Garros herself, the world No.48 does have a title on clay that came in Rabat last year.

The reward for the winner of this match, three-time Roland Garros champion and world No.1 Iga Swiatek.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.