Krejcikova, Rybakina Pose Threats To Swiatek’s Title Defense
Top-seeded Iga Swiatek isn’t coming into the French Open with the same sort of record she had a year ago. Still, the tennis predictions favor Swiatek to become the first player to win back-to-back women’s singles time at Roland Garros in 16 years.
When looking at the tennis news, Paula Badosa, who reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros in 2021 and had an impressive run to the semifinals at the Italian Open, is withdrawing from the upcoming Grand Slam event as a result of a spine injury. She was showing odds of +1600 to win the title.
Swiatek will begin her title defense against Cristina Bucsa. Some other intriguing first-round matches include Sloane Stephens meeting Karolina Pliskova, Victoria Azarenka squaring off with Bianca Andreescu and Danielle Collins drawing Jessica Pegula. Kaia Kanepi playing Madison Keys.
With Taylor Townsend, Kayla Day and Elizabeth Mandlik playing their way into the field through qualifying, there are 18 American women in the field.
Keep on reading for more on the French Open field and some betting news and numbers to consider.
First Quarter: Can Kjecjikova Upset Defending Champ Again
It is never a good sign to see the world No. 1 player pull out of a match not long before the start of a Grand Slam.
That is what happened with Swiatek in the third set at the Italian Open against Elena Rybakina as a result of a leg injury. She said she is good to go.
Iga Swiatek says she’s fit and ready for her title defense at #Roland Garros.
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) May 26, 2023
Still, Swiatek is the overwhelming favorite at -140 to make it two titles in a row in Roland Garros. She has won the titles at Dubai and Stuttgart and looks to make a deeper run than she did in Australia when she was upset by Rybakina in the Round of 16.
This is not shaping up as the easiest of draws for Swiatek with former Grand Slam champions Victoria Azarenka and Bianca Andreescu possible fourth-round opponents. Azarenka and Andreescu are meeting in the first round so that will eliminate one of the dangerous players in Swiatek’s quarter.
Nobody could pose more of a threat to Swiatek than No. 13 seed Barbora Krejcikova.
Krejcikova has won the last two matches against Swiatek. She won in three sets in the 2022 Ostrava Open title match and in the final at Dubai earlier this year, Krejcikova rolled to a 6-4, 6-2 win.
Krejcikova had a memorable title run in Roland Garros in 2021. Since then, she hasn’t advanced past the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam. She fell in the first round at Roland Garros in 2022.
Krejcikova has been ranked as high as No. 2, but she is currently at 13. Her odds at +1400 make her the No. 3 favorite according to the tennis betting lines.
She showed what she is capable of when she eliminated Sabalenka, Jessica Pegula and Swiatek to win in Dubai.
She is 8-5 since then and 1-5 against ranked players.
Americans Coco Gauff and Madison Keys are among the seeded players who could meet up with Swiatek in the quarterfinals.
Keys may need to get by No. 11 seed Veronika Kudermetova. When they met in the 2022 French Open, Kudermetova won 6-1 in the third set to advance.
The other seeded player in that part of the bracket is No. 25 Anhelina Kalinina. In the other meeting, Gauff dropped just one game in the first round at the 2022 San Jose event.
If the seeds hold up, Swiatek will look to improve to 7-0 against Gauff. She has yet to lose a set to the American teenager. Gauff (+2000) has the best odds among the American women in the field as she is trying to become the first American-born player to win the women’s singles title at the French Open since Serena Williams in 2015.
- Quarterfinal Prediction: Swiatek vs Gauff
Second Quarter: Beware Rybakina
Even with four qualifiers and a lucky loser, the bracket featuring No. 7 seed Ons Jabeur and No. 4 Elena Rybakina could be something to behold.
Rybakina could run into American Shelby Rogers, the No. 32 seed. The last time they met, it was Rogers walking away with the 6-2, 6-4 win at the 2022 ‘s-Hertogenbosch tournament. They have split two previous meetings at Grand Slams. That match would happen in the third round.
No. 14 seed Beatriz Haddad Maia or 23rd seed Ekaterina Alexandrova could be waiting in the fourth round. Haddad Maia already owns two wins against Rybakina in 2023.
The fourth-ranked Rybakina is coming off a title run at the Italian Open when three different opponents had to retire during matches.
Rybakina topped both Swiatek and Sabalenka to win in Indian Wells.
Rybakina made headlines with her Round of 16 win over Swiatek at the Australian Open. She made it all the way to the final in Melbourne before dropping a three-set match to Sabalenka.
The sportsbook has Rybakina priced at +725 to win at Roland Garros.
A possible third-round opponent for Jabeur is Sorana Cirstea. The two first met back in 2013 in the Qatar Total Open.
Petra Kvitova and Donna Vekic could pose a challenge to Jabeur. Kvitova is 4-1 against Jabeur. However, they have never met on clay.
If Jabeur and Rybakina do advance to the quarterfinals, the match could take a while they have needed three sets in three of the four career meetings.
- Quarterfinal Prediction: Rybakina vs Jabeur
Third Quarter: Pegula Eyeing First Grand Slam Singles Semi
Jessica Pegula opens up with fellow American Danielle Collins and the second-round match against either Camila Giorgi or Alize Cornet.
Pegula is 7-2 against Giorgi and 3-0 on clay. When they met in Indian Wells in March, Pegula rallied for the win after dropping the first set.
Elise Mertens is another dangerous player in this portion of the bracket. She is 2-0 against Pegula, but the last meeting came back in 2021.
No. 15 seed Liudmila Samsonova is just 11-11 in 2023, but the last time she ran into Pegula in the Grand Slam, she won in three sets at Wimbledon in 2021.
Maria Sakkari has three wild cards that she might need to contend with and two of them are French natives who will have plenty of fan support.
Sakkari, seeded eighth, could see No. 27 Irina-Camelia Begu in the third round. They have played three sets in each of the last three meetings with Sakkari winning each time. The most recent matchup was at the quarterfinals in Madrid in early May.
No. 12 seed Belinda Bencic knocked out Sakkari in three sets in the 2022 Berlin semifinals so that is something to keep in mind when it comes to possible live betting odds.
- Quarterfinal Prediction: Sakkari vs Pegula
Fourth Quarter: Plenty of Challengers For Sabalenka
Sabalenka and Karolina Pliskova have previously met in the 2021 Wimbledon semifinals and the 2022 US Open quarterfinals.
They could meet in the fourth round in Roland Garros and that has the potential to be a grueling showdown just to reach the quarterfinal.
Pliskova will need to get by Stephens in the first round before any possible matchup with Sabalenka could materialize.
It has been six years since Jelena Ostapenko won the French Open singles title. She hasn’t advanced past the third round at Roland Garros since. Ostapenko is coming off a run to the Australian Open quarterfinals, her first Grand Slam singles quarterfinal berth since 2018. That could be an intriguing third-round showdown if she meets up with No. 5 seed Caroline Garcia. Ostapenko might need to get by No. 9 seed Daria Kasatkina to get a shot at Garcia.
Garcia and Kasatkina needed three sets to decide things in the most recent matchup at the 2022 WTA Finals with Garcia winning in a third-set tiebreaker.
Sabalenka should be well rested after falling to American Sofia Kenin in straight sets in her first match in Rome. That came after she won the title in Madrid with a three-set win over Swiatek. Sabalenka and Swiatek also met in the Stuttgart final and they are on the opposite ends of the Roland Garros draw.
Sabalenka didn’t drop a set until rallying from one set down to defeat Rybakina in the Australian Open final and she is looking for more of the same at the French Open.
Sabalenka is priced at +325 according to the tennis odds to win in Roland Garros.
- Quarterfinal Prediction: Garcia vs Sabalenka
Way Too Early Predictions for Semifinals, Final
- Top Half Semifinal Prediction: Swiatek vs Rybakina
- Bottom Half Semifinal Prediction: Pegula vs Sabalenka
- Final: Swiatek vs Sabalenka