🏆 🏆 Premier 5 titles ✅— WTA (@WTA) May 21, 2017
🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 titles in 2017 ✅
Congrats @ElinaSvitolina--> https://t.co/o9WupAjJ6K #ibi17 pic.twitter.com/QQsrClx3Xm
Last week, I named four French Open champion contenders--Simona Halep, Kiki Mladenovic, Maria Sharapova, and Svetlana Kuznetsova. I held back on Elina Svitolina, and then she won Rome, so I'm putting her on the list. I'm doing this not so much because she won Rome, per se (we all know how the warmup victories can go), but because she's having a season filled with confidence and I think she's ready to be considered a contender. (And I'm pleased to have promoted Svitolina's great potential a long time ago.)
It now seems clear that defending champion Garbine Muguruza belongs on the list, too.
Sharapova is off of the list, and no one sums up my feelings about that better than The Backspinner. A pig to slop, indeed.
Now, just days away from the start of the French Open, both Halep and defending champion Garbine Muguruza have sustained injuries. Muguruza injured her neck and Halep rolled her ankle--both in Rome. Assuming, for now, that both of them will be okay for the upcoming competition, the competitive mix looks pretty interesting.
An argument can be made that Halep is under even more pressure than Muguruza, and, of course, the Spaniard's unpredictability is an entity in itself. She could Mugu around and go out in the first or second round, or she could defend her title.
Mugu, verb: To wander one's territory in a chronically sullen state, e.a., "No I don't want any trashy tapas--I prefer to mugu in my room"— Diane Elayne Dees (@WomenWhoServe) May 2, 2016
Of the five of them, Mladenovic and Svitolina are the most consistent. Each will have to be beaten; they won't beat themselves. Mladenovic will also have tremendous crowd support, which she will use to great advantage. Halep does seems more stable than last year, Muguruza I already covered, and Kuznetsova is--well, Kuznetsova.
It's my favorite major, and I can't wait for it to begin.