Ladies leading on clay in 2019

A close look at the clay stats leaders on the women's tour heading into Roland-Garros.

 - Reem Abulleil

The clay season on the women's tour this year has been ultra competitive, with many unexpected names popping on everyone's radar due to their exceptional results on the surface over the past few weeks.

While some usual suspects, like Kiki Bertens and Simona Halep, have had a strong build-up to Roland-Garros, others like Johanna Konta or Maria Sakkari have squeezed themselves into the conversation with some impressive wins on the red dirt.

Kiki on top

A self-described clay specialist, Bertens continues to be a force to be reckoned with on the clay and, unsurprisingly, she is the match-wins leader on the surface this season, with an impressive 12-3 win-loss record.

A semi-finalist at Roland-Garros in 2016, Bertens is up to a career-high world No.4 - the highest ranking ever achieved by a Dutchwoman - and comes to Paris on the back of a title run in Madrid and a semi-final showing in Rome.

Great Britain's Johanna Konta, who has a 0-4 career win-loss record at Roland-Garros, is enjoying a brilliant clay swing so far, having made the finals in Rabat and Rome, which places her in the top five on the match-wins leader board.

Greece's Sakkari claimed the first title of her career in Rabat earlier this month, on clay, then impressively marched to the semi-finals, as a qualifier, in Rome last week. She is tied with Bertens with 12 wins on the surface in 2019.

Queens of efficiency

Despite suffering an abdominal injury that forced her to pull out ahead of her Stuttgart semi-final, and a thumb problem that ruled her out of her Rome quarter-final, world No.1 Naomi Osaka can take lots of confidence from her clay campaign so far, considering she has only lost one match on the surface this year.

She leads the list of players with the highest winning percentage on clay in 2019 (for players who have played three or more matches on the surface) thanks to her 7-1 win-loss record.

Osaka's progress on clay this year follows a trend of multiple big-hitters, like Karolina Pliskova (Rome champion) and Petra Kvitova (Stuttgart champion), performing well on the surface as of late.

Arms of steel

The WTA circuit features some incredible returners, and clay is not necessarily a surface that caters to big servers, yet Bertens has managed to amass a tour-leading total of 93 aces on the dirt so far this season.

Osaka is next on that list with 69, tied with Pliskova, who has struck the most aces on tour so far across all surfaces (252 aces in 32 matches).