Tennis: Bumper US entrants braced for assault on Paris

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Italian Open - Foro Italico, Rome, Italy - May 11, 2023 Jessica Pegula of the U.S. in action during her round of 64 match against Taylor Townsend of the U.S. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

PARIS (Reuters) - The largest number of U.S. tennis players in almost 30 years will set their sights on a French Open singles crown when the claycourt grand slam event gets underway on Sunday.

A total of 35 Americans (19 women and 16 men) are set to compete in the singles main draws at Roland Garros – the most since 1995 when 39 started the opening day.

Third seed Jessica Pegula and sixth seed Coco Gauff, last year's runner-up who hopes a return to Paris will help her rediscover her form, are the biggest U.S. threats to the women's crown. Their contingent also includes 2018 runner-up Sloane Stephens and former semi-finalist Madison Keys.

It seems unlikely the U.S. men have a champion-in-waiting in their ranks, but in Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe they boast two of the top 12 seeds.

The last American champion was Serena Williams in 2015, while the last American man to lift the title was Andre Agassi back in 1999.

(Reporting by: Ossian Shine; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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