Kostyuk to Errani: Five to watch in women's qualifying

 - Reem Abulleil

A great mix of talented teens and seasoned veterans will battle it out in Roland-Garros qualifying this week in Paris.

Ukrainian teen Kostyuk is looking to reach her first Roland-Garros main draw© Julien Crosnier / FFT

The Roland-Garros women's qualifying draw was unveiled on Monday as a thrilling week of action continues in the French capital.

Qualifying top seed, Ann Li, of the United States, is trying to reach her third Grand Slam main draw of the year and made a strong impression at the US Open earlier this month, where she upset Arantxa Rus and Alison Riske before falling to Angelique Kerber in the third round. The 20-year-old faces Dutchwoman Indy de Vroome in the first round.

Here are five players to look out for this week in women's qualifying...

Marta Kostyuk (UKR)

The 18-year-old Ukrainian is coming off of an impressive third-round showing at the US Open earlier this month and is just three spots off her career-high ranking of No.116, which she first achieved in January last year.

A former Australian Open junior champion, Kostyuk exploded onto the scene when she reached the third round of the women’s event in Melbourne as a 15-year-old qualifier on her Grand Slam debut in 2018.

At the US Open two weeks ago, she took out former top-10 player Daria Kasatkina, and two-time semi-finalist Anastasija Sevastova before falling to eventual champion Naomi Osaka in three tight sets.

Last month, she won three rounds of qualifying on the clay courts of the WTA tournament in Prague, but was edged in her main draw opener by Camila Giorgi in a third-set tiebreak.

She is in form and looking more comfortable on the big stage. Keep an eye out for the talented teen, who opens her qualifying campaign against Isabella Shinikova of Bulgaria.

Vera Zvonareva (RUS)

The Russian former world No.2 has had a strong few weeks since the tour resumed last month.

Zvonareva, 36, lifted the US Open doubles trophy with her partner Laura Siegemund in New York two weeks ago, and earlier made the last-16 stage at the Western & Southern Open in singles as a qualifier.

The ex-Wimbledon finalist will be making just her second appearance at Roland-Garros since 2011. Her best result at the Parisan Grand Slam came back in 2003, when she reached the quarter-finals.

Zvonareva begins her quest for a main draw berth against fellow Russian Natalia Vikhlyantseva.

Nadia Podoroska (ARG)

The 23-year-old from Argentina has won 14 of her 17 matches played on clay since the tennis tour restarted last month.

Ranked a career-high No.130 in the world this week, Podoroska won the ITF $60k tournament in Saint-Malo, France earlier this month and made the semi-finals at the WTA $125k event in Prague. She also qualified for the WTA showpiece in Palermo.

Podoroska is bidding for a first Roland-Garros main draw appearance, and just her second at a Grand Slam. She commences her qualifying journey against Poland's Magdalena Frech.

Sara Errani (ITA)

The 33-year-old Italian was runner-up to Maria Sharapova at Roland-Garros in 2012 and owns a 21-11 record on Parisian clay.

A former world No.5, Errani is down to No.149 in the rankings but had an encouraging restart to the season when she reached the quarter-finals of the WTA tournament in Palermo last month.

Errani, who opens against Georgia's Ekaterine Gorgodze, is looking to make her first Grand Slam main draw appearance in two years. Her last showing at a major was a first-round three-set defeat to Alize Cornet at Roland-Garros in 2018.

Clara Tauson (DEN)

The 17-year-old last year became the first Danish girl to top the junior world rankings and is swiftly showing great promise on the women’s tour.

The 2019 Australian Open junior champion is 9-2 win-loss on the ITF circuit since the tour resumed last month and comes to Roland-Garros at a career-high ranking of No.196.

Besides winning an ITF $15k title in Oeiras a month ago, Tauson marched to the fourth round at the WTA $125k tournament in Prague, upsetting Errani along the way.

First up for Tauson this week in qualifying is Romania's Gabriela Talaba.

Others to keep an eye on…

American teenagers Whitney Osuigwe, the 2017 Roland-Garros junior champion, and Caty McNally, the girls' doubles champion and girls’ singles runner-up in 2018, are bidding to make their respective main draw debuts in the French capital. McNally reached the US Open third round earlier this month.

Serbia’s Ivana Jorovic, a 2014 Roland-Garros junior finalist, has had a solid build-up to the action in Paris, making the semi-finals at the WTA $125k in Prague, while Kristina Kucova clinched that title in the Czech capital by dropping just one set in seven matches.