Who is the French Open women’s singles favourite?
Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina have emerged as the favourites for Grand Slam Glory in Paris.
Eurosport pundit Barbara Schett feels that Swiatek is likely to retain her crown.
She feels that Roland Garros is uniquely suited to the game of Swiatek.
“It’s between Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina,” Schett said, according to Eurosport.
“The conditions in Paris should favour Swiatek, she feels comfortable there and is proving she is definitely playing at a high level of tennis. How she defends that No. 1 spot as well because she must be under enormous pressure.
“I think it’s good for Iga to have these two players [Sabalenka and Rybakina] that can challenge her and make her stay at the No. 1 spot.
“Rafa [Nadal], Roger [Federer] and Novak [Djokovic] fuelled each other to become better players, and hopefully, we can see that on the women’s side.
“We have three completely different players and personalities. Swiatek is extremely solid and has handled this pressure of being world No. 1 so well, she always bounces back and seems so strong mentally.
“She is going strong in Rome and is an all-rounder, she can play on every surface. Grass maybe a little bit better but on clay, I think the conditions suit her really well.
“It won’t be as fast as Madrid where she lost to Sabalenka. I think her mindset is right and she believes in herself. She is the favourite going into the French Open, for sure.
“Swiatek had a phenomenal year last year and no one has really challenged her until now.
“She is the most complete and consistent player and has worked a lot on the mental part, which is almost 80% of what you need. She seems motivated and wants to be up there for a long time.”
Former British No 1 Tim Henman also believes Swiatek leads the women’s field.
“I love her game,” Henman said. “She works so hard in every area. Athletically she is improving all the time and she is spending a lot of time and effort improving mentally.
“She has a great team, and she is playing great. On clay, she hits the ball very hard but still has margin for error and I definitely think she is the favourite.
“Swiatek is number one by a margin, but then you have Jessica Pegula, Coco Gauff who is still developing all the time. Elena Rybakina made the final, Aryna Sabalenka can play great on clay. It’s harder to predict in the women’s game and a lot of players can win Roland-Garros.
“Coco Gauff made the final last year, is very athletic on clay and can do well again this year. Ons Jabeur has great variation and is great to watch. Maria Sakkari is great to watch too and can do some damage.”
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