French Open Women’s Draw Preview: Swiatek Could Face Krejcikova, Gauff, Rybakina Before Final

French Open Women’s Draw Preview: Swiatek Could Face Krejcikova, Gauff, Rybakina Before Final
By: Tennis X Posted On: May 25, 2023 View: 46

World No. 1 and tournament favorite Iga Swiatek was handed a tough road in her French Open title defense.

The women’s draw was unveiled at Roland Garros a few hours ago, and the 2-time champion is projected to meet Coco Gauff in the quarterfinals in a rematch of their 2022 final with Elena Rybakina looming in the semifinals. Rybakina has won her last three against the Polish star including by retirement in Rome last week. And in the fourth round, Swiatek could face former winner Barbora Krejcikova.

The second favorite, Aryna Sabalenka, has Marta Kostyuk in her opener but otherwise has a much easier path.

Here are the top 16 seeds at the second Grand Slam: 1 Iga Swiatek, 2 Aryna Sabalenka, 3 Jessica Pegula, 4 Elena Rybakina, 5 Caroline Garcia, 6 Coco Gauff, 7 Ons Jabeur, 8 Maria Sakkari, 9 Daria Kasatkina, 10 Petra Kvitova, 11 Veronika Kudermetova, 12 Belinda Bencic, 13 Barbora Krejcikova, 14 Beatriz Haddad Maia, 15 Liudmila Samsonova, 16 Karolina Pliskova.

Seeds: 1 Swiatek, 6 Gauff, 11 Kudermetova, 13 Krejcikova, 18 Azarenka, 20 Keys, 25 Kalinina, 31 Bouzkova,
Floaters: Andreescu, Tsurenko, Kanepi, Parry, Mladenovic
Notable openers: Iga Swiatek-Cristina Bucsa, Victoria Azarenka-Bianca Andreescu, Lesia Tsurenko-Barbora Krejcikova, Veronika Kudermetova-Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, Kaia Kanepi-Madison Keys, Rebeka Masarova-Coco Gauff
Projected 3R matches: 1 Swiatek – 31 Bouzkova, 18 Azarenka – 13 Krejcikova, 11 Kudermetova – 20 Keys, 25 Kalinina – 6 Gauff
Notes: It could be a very tough road for the 2-time champion Iga Swiatek who might see as many as three former Grand Slam winners plus a former French semifinalist just to reach the final. Swiatek opens against the Spaniard Cristina Busca with Marie Bouzkova in the third and then potentially Barbora Krejcikova and Coco Gauff. Gauff comes into her final defense struggling just 3-3 in her last three events. Rome finalist Anhelina Kalina could await in the third round with the big-hitting Veronika Kudermetova in the fourth. Madison Keys takes on Kaia Kanepi and Victoria Azarenka collides with Bianca Andreescu in two good openers.

Seeds: 4 Rybakina, 7 Jabeur, 10 Kvitova, 14 Haddad Maia, 22 Vekic, 23 Alexandrova, 30 Cirstea, 32 Rogers
Floaters: Martic, Pera, Cocciaretto, Noskova, Maria, Paolini, Kontaveit
Notable openers: Petra Martic-Shelby Rogers, Ekaterina Alexandrova-Viktoriya Tomova, Tatjana Maria-Beatriz Haddad Maia, Petra Kvitova-Elisabetta Cocciaretto, Anett Kontaveit-Bernarda Pera, Sorana Cirstea-Jasmine Paolini, Lucia Bronzetti-Ons Jabeur
Projected 3R matches: 4 Rybakina – 32 Rogers, 23 Alexandrova – 14 Haddad Maia, 10 Kvitova – 22 Vekic, 30 Cirstea – 7 Jabeur
Notes: Following her Rome title run, Elena Rybakina has proven herself to be a worthy clay contender and a threat at Roland Garros. The Kazakh is the favorite to emerge from her quarter which features Ons Jabeur and Petra Kvitova as the main threats, but neither is in peak form. Rybakina could face Czech teen Linda Noskova and the upset-minded Shelby Rogers. Sorana Cirstea could be a good darkhorse pick.

Seeds: 3 Pegula, 8 Sakkari, 12 Bencic, 15 Samsonova, 21 Linette, 24 Potapova, 27 Begu, 28 Mertens
Floaters: Giorgi, Collins, Sherif, Sasnovich, Fernandez, Muchova, Fruhvirtova, Teichmann, Cornet, Errani, Podoroska
Notable openers: Maria Sakkari-Karolina Muchova, Sara Errani-Jil Teichmann, Magda Linette-Leylah Fernandez, Liudmila Samsonova-Katie Volynets, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova-Linda Fruhvirtova, Alize Cornet-Camila Giorgi, Danielle Collins-Jessica Pegula
Projected 3R matches: 8 Sakkari – 27 Begu, 21 Linette – 12 Bencic, 15 Samsonova – 24 Potapova, 28 Mertens – 3 Pegula
Notes: American No. 1 Jessica Pegula has a great chance to go deep at the French Open. She’s in a good section of the draw that doesn’t have any major French title hopefuls. Maria Sakkari has a tough opener against Karolina Muchova, but the Greek enters without much form. Belinda Bencic has been injured, and Magda Linette and Anastasia Potapova have been unproven deep in Slams. But Pegula faces her feisty countrywoman Danielle Collins in one of the best openers on either draw. Though Pegula has won all four meetings with Collins and Collins has been off the tour the last month. Alize Cornet and Camelia Giorgi is yet another interesting first rounder.

Seeds: 5 Garcia, 9 Kasatkina, 16 Pliskova, 17 Ostapenko, 19 Zheng, 26 Trevisan, 29 Zhang
Floaters: Stephens, Kostyuk, Siniakova, Parks, Putintseva, Vondrousova, Stearns, Martincova
Notable openers: Caroline Garcia-Xiyu Wang, Jelena Ostapenko-Tereza Martincova, Marketa Vondrousova-Alycia Parks, Jule Niemeier-Daria Kasatkina, Karolina Pliskova-Sloane Stephens, Marta Kostyuk-Aryna Sabalenka
Projected 3R matches: 5 Garcia – 26 Trevisan, 17 Ostapenko – 9 Kasatkina, 16 Pliskova – 19 Zheng, 29 Zhang – 2 Sabalenka
Notes: Madrid champion Aryna Sabalenka will take her draw. While she opens against the dangerous Marta Kostyuk, if the Australian Open champion can get going she’ll have a good shot at the last four and beyond. Sabalenka could face either former finalist Sloane Stephens or Karolina Pliskova in the fourth — both players are well off their best — with either home hope Caroline Garcia or Daria Kasatkina in the quarters. Sabelanka, though, has never made the second week in Paris. Former champion Jelena Ostapenko and rising star Qinwen Zheng also loom. Ostapenko is arguably the favorite to come out to the quarters to meet Sabalenka.

The projected R16 looks like:
No. 1 Swiatek – 13 Krejcikova
No. 11 Kudermetova – 6 Gauff
No. 4 Rybakina – 14 Haddad Maia
No. 10 Kvitova – 7 Jabeur

No. 8 Sakkari – 12 Bencic
No. 15 Samsonova – 3 Pegula
No. 5 Garcia – 9 Kasatkina
No. 16 Pliskova – 2 Sabalenka

Former champions: Swiatek(2), Krejcikova, Ostapenko
Former finalists: Gauff, Errani, Pavlyuchenkova, Vondrousova, Stephens

Last year, (1) Iga Swiatek defeated (18) Coco Gauff 6-1, 6-3.

2022 Iga Swiatek d Coco Gauff 6-1, 6-3
2021 Barbora Krejcikova d Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 2-6, 6-4
2020 Iga Swiatek d Sofia Kenin 6-4, 6-1
2019 Ashleigh Barty d Marketa Vondrousova 6-1, 6-3
2018 Simona Halep d Sloane Stephens 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
2017 Jelena Ostapenko d Simona Halep 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
2016 Garbine Muguruza d Serena Williams 7-5, 6-4
2015 Serena Williams d Lucie Safarova 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-2
2014 Maria Sharapova d Simona Halep 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-4
2013 Serena Williams d Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-4

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