An Italian has reached the French Open final in each of the last three years. Can Errani, the Italian who did so in 2012, continue the streak? That may depend on where she’s placed in the draw, but with a careerhigh ranking of No. 5, she’ll avoid many of the toughest obstacles until the later rounds. Truthfully, Errani is the fourth-best bet to take the title, behind the WTA Top 3 but ahead of Agnieszka Radwanska. The Pole won one match in Rome and Madrid; Errani reached the semis of both tournaments. Errani thrived on the terre battue last year with guile, but she’s hardly a passive player. She’ll need to continue asserting herself when opportunities arise, for the element of surprise is gone after last year’s breakthrough. Serena, Maria and Vika haven’t taken Errani lightly heading into Paris, and opponents will be hungry for an early-round upset.
What to Like:
With weekend showings at the two biggest warm-up tournaments, Errani has positioned herself as a legitimate contender. Chalk won the Slams in 2012; aren’t we due for a first-time Slam champ, which we saw three of in 2011?
What Not to Like:
Errani has tangled with the Top 3 five times in 2013, and has lost every match in straight sets. She appears to have reached the ceiling with her style of play and can be overwhelmed by the bigger hitters.
What to Expect:
A semifinal would be a tremendous accomplishment for the Italian, who has transformed into a reliable, all-surface threat. Look for her momentum from Madrid and Rome and improved confidence to carry her deep in the draw.
2013 French Open Profiles: