Workers clean the court at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris. File Photo: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

The French Open gets underway at Roland Garros on Sunday with a host of stars sidelined and others fighting races against time to be fit.

AFP Sports looks at who's missing and who's fighting:


Roger Federer

The 2009 champion won his 18th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January but the 35-year-old decided to skip the French Open and the entire claycourt season to stay fresh for an assault on what would be an eighth Wimbledon title on July. Federer also missed last year's Roland Garros due to injury.

Serena Williams

The 35-year-old American, the champion in Paris in 2002, 2013 and 2015, won a record-setting 23rd Grand Slam title at the Australian Open before eventually announcing she was pregnant. She and fiancee, tech entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian will be become parents in September.

Maria Sharapova

Sharapova, the Paris champion in 2012 and 2014, missed the 2016 tournament as she served a doping suspension. The Russian star returned to action in April but was refused a wild card by Roland Garros organisers to enter this year's French Open.

Victoria Azarenka

New mum Azarenka, a two-time Australian Open champion and former world number one, hasn't played since last year's French Open and will miss this year's edition after giving birth to son Leo in December. She will return to the tour at the Mallorca Open next month and intends to play at Wimbledon.


Juan Martin del Potro

Del Potro, whose career has been plagued by injuries, is suffering shoulder and back problems which may force him out.

The giant Argentine, ranked 30 in the world, hasn't played at Roland Garros since 2012 when he reached the quarter-finals, instead spending lengthy periods off court battling wrist injuries which pushed him to the brink of retirement.

Simona Halep

Halep, the 2014 runner-up, is only "50/50" for Roland Garros having sustained a torn ankle ligament in last week's Italian Open final.

Halep, winner of the Madrid Open the week before, needed treatment after going over on her right ankle before losing 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 to Ukraine's Elina Svitolina in Rome.

"The MRI scan shows a torn ligament. Doctors say it's 50/50."

Petra Kvitova

Two-time Wimbledon winner Kvitova will decide on Friday whether or not she will play in the French Open as she recovers from a knife attack fighting off a burglar in December.

"Hi guys, I have some news. I will be flying to Roland Garros and taking part in a press conference on site at 2:30pm local time on Friday. Keep everything crossed for me that I will be able to play there," wrote Kvitova on Twitter.

Laura Siegemund

Germany's Siegemund, the shock winner of the Stuttgart claycourt tournament in April, was stretchered off with suspected knee ligament damage after a nasty fall in her Nuremberg second round match against Barbora Krejcikova on Wednesday. Fed Cup coach Barbara Rittner said Siegemund was likely to pull out of Paris.