Ninth seed Iva Majoli defeated world No. 1 Martina Hingis in the final, 6–4, 6–2 to win the Women's Singles tennis title at the 1997 French Open. Majoli became the first Croatian player to win a Grand Slam tournament. This was the only major final Hingis lost in the 1997 season and prevented her from winning a Grand Slam. Hingis was on a 35-match winning streak dated back at the start of the 1997 tennis season in Sydney before losing to Majoli in the final.
Steffi Graf was the two-time defending champion, but lost to Amanda Coetzer in the quarterfinals. It was the second consecutive major where Coetzer defeated Graf after doing so in the 4th round of the 1997 Australian Open.
This tournament was notable for being the first Grand Slam in which future World No. 1 and seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams competed in the main draw. She was defeated in the second round by Nathalie Tauziat.