By Tony Fairbairn
- Iga Swiatek aims to defend her Roland Garros title with Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina being her nearest rivals to challenge for the title in Paris.
- Top Seeds: Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka, Jessica Pegula, Elena Rybakina
PARIS, FRANCE – Iga Swiatek is looking to fight off competition from Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina as she looks to defend her Roland Garros title.
 Iga Swiatek
Best Result: Champion (2020, 2022)
Swiatek enters her Roland Garros title defence with slight injuries as well as being beaten by her rivals in Madrid and Rome but as her fans will know, Swiatek at Roland Garros is a different animal.
Swiatek’s Path to the Final (Ranking/Seeding)
- R1: Cristina Bucsa | H2H: Swiatek leads 1-0
- R2: Claire Liu | H2H: Swiatek leads 2-0
- R3: Marie Bouzkova  | H2H: First Meeting
- R4: Barbora Krejcikova  | H2H: Tied at 2-2
- QF: Coco Gauff  | H2H: Swiatek leads 6-0
- SF: Elena Rybakina  | H2H: Rybakina leads 3-1
- F: Aryna Sabalenka  | H2H: Swiatek leads 5-3
The world number one has a very comfortable opening two rounds to adapt to conditions and see if she’s 100% fit. Then a tricky test against Marie Bouzkova could await in the third round before facing fellow Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova in the last 16. Krejcikova will have to get past Victoria Azarenka or Bianca Andreescu before then as the pair will meet in the opening round so that may favour the defending champion. A final rematch could await in the last eight against Coco Gauff before facing her nearest rivals in the latter stages. Overall it’s a tough draw for Swiatek to navigate through that may take its toll come the final however never count the Pole especially at Roland Garros.
 Aryna Sabalenka
Best Results: Third Round (2020, 2021, 2022)
Sabalenka heads into Roland Garros having won Madrid and will look to make the second week in Paris for the first time in her career.
Sabalenka’s Path to the Final (Ranking/Seeding)
- R1: Marta Kostyuk | H2H: Sabalenka leads 1-0
- R2: Panna Udvardy | H2H: First Meeting
- R3: Shuai Zhang  | H2H: Sabalenka leads 4-1
- R4: Karolina Pliskova  | H2H: Sabalenka leads 3-2
- QF: Caroline Garcia  | H2H: Garcia leads 3-2
- SF: Jessica Pegula  | H2H: Sabalenka leads 4-1
- F: Iga Swiatek  | H2H: Swiatek leads 5-3
Sabalenka’s clay court prowess will be tested with a very tough opening round against Marta Kostyuk where the Australian Open champion’s mentality will but pushed to its very limits. After that, it’s a relatively comfortable draw for Sabalenka although former champion Jelena Ostapenko could be a quarter-final match if Caroline Garcia doesn’t improve her form in front of her home crowd. The draw is as good as Sabalenka would have hoped and the form guide suggests that it’s either a first round exit or a run to the final and the second seed will be hoping for the latter as she looks to win her second Grand Slam of the season.
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 Jessica Pegula
Best Result: Quarter-Final (2022)
Pegula will be looking to improve her form in Paris after an early exit in Rome has seen a decrease in momentum for the American.
Pegula’s Path to the Final (Ranking/Seeding)
- R1: Danielle Collins | H2H: Pegula leads 4-0
- R2: Camila Giorgi | H2H: H2H: Pegula leads 7-2
- R3: Elise Mertens  | H2H: Mertens leads 2-0
- R4: Liudmila Samsonova  | H2H: Pegula leads 2-1
- QF: Maria Sakkari  | H2H: Sakkari leads 4-3
- SF: Aryna Sabalenka  | H2H: Sabalenka leads 4-1
- F: Iga Swiatek  | H2H: Swiatek leads 5-2
Pegula has been given a brutal draw even if she has comfortable head-to-heads against Danielle Collins and Camila Giorgi. The American will be given a tough test of her clay court credentials against Elise Mertens before potentially facing Anastasia Potapova in the last 16, who has given Pegula some tough battles. Ultimately the American will do well to get to the semi-finals given the strength of her opposition on clay and how Pegula has struggled against some of her potential opponents.
 Elena Rybakina
Best Result: Quarter-Final (2021)
Rybakina heads into Roland Garros full of confidence having won the title in Rome as she searches for a second Grand Slam title in Paris.
Rybakina’s Path to the Final
- R1: Qualifier | H2H: N/A
- R2: Linda Noskova | H2H: First Meeting
- R3: Shelby Rogers  | H2H: First Meeting
- R4: Beatriz Haddad Maia  | H2H: Haddad Maia leads 2-0
- QF: Ons Jabeur  | H2H: Tied at 2-2
- SF: Iga Swiatek  | H2H: Rybakina leads 3-1
- F: Aryna Sabalenka  | H2H: Sabalenka leads 4-1
Rybakina has potentially a few early tests to navigate through where the likes of Linda Noskova, Petra Martic and Shelby Rogers could test Rybakina’s consistency early on. In the second week Beatriz Haddad Maia will look to use her variety and court craft to edge past the Kazakh while Ons Jabeur will look to pose a different test in the last eight. Overall Rybakina is expected to reach the latter stages of Roland Garros where a motivated Swiatek will be keen to show the Wimbledon champion why she is the dominant force on clay.
Roland Garros 2023 takes place between 28 May and 11 June.
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