Roland Garros Women's Preview Features Rivals Swiatek and Sabalenka as Favorites

Roland Garros Women's Preview Features Rivals Swiatek and Sabalenka as Favorites

4 min read

Iga Swiatek remains the woman to beat in Paris, but several players could wrestle the trophy away from her. Four different players have won the four biggest stops on the WTA Tour’s clay-court season this year: Ons Jabeur (Charleston), Swiatek (Stuttgart), Aryna Sabalenka (Madrid), and Elena Rybakina (Rome).

Armed with the most Grand Slam experience, Swiatek remains the favorite to win her fourth Grand Slam trophy. With main draw play beginning on Sunday at 11 a.m. local time (5 a.m. EST), let’s take a look at the favorites and dark horses with Universal Tennis INSIGHTS.

2023 Roland Garros Women's Favorites, according to Universal Tennis INSIGHTS 

(2) Aryna Sabalenka - 24%

(1) Iga Swiatek - 22%

(22) Elena Rybakina - 16%

(13) Barbora Krejcikova - 4%

(12) Belinda Bencic - 4%

(3) Jessica Pegula - 4%

Marketa Vondrousova - 2%

(11) Veronika Kudermetova - 2%

(8) Maria Sakkari - 2%

Karolina Muchova - 2%

Favorite to Win

(1) Iga Swiatek (UTR Rating 13.22)

Though Sabalenka has the slight UTR edge over her, Swiatek is still the favorite in Paris. She's looking to become the first Roland Garros defending champion since 2007 when Justin Henin won the clay-court major three years in a row. Swiatek has won two titles and reached three finals this year as she seeks her to add to her Grand Slam haul (she won Roland Garros in 2020 and 2022, and the US Open in 2022).



The 21-year-old Pole is coming into her best major on the heels of a right thigh injury in Rome that forced her to retire during the quarterfinals after splitting sets with Elena Rybakina.

Her draw is challenging — after opening against Cristina Bucsa, the seeds in Swiatek’s section include No. 31 Marie Bouzkova, No. 18 Victoria Azarenka, and 2021 champion No. 13 Barbora Krejcikova. Krejcikova has actually beaten Swiatek in their most recent two meetings.

Most Likely to Go Far

(2) Aryna Sabalenka (13.23)

Sabalenka has highest UTR Rating in the women's field, but she’s never made a run deeper than the third round in Paris, despite making the semifinals or better at every other major (including winning her maiden Slam at the Australian Open this year).

The Belarusian is developing a rivalry with Swiatek as she chases the WTA No. 1 ranking. The two have traded final wins this year, with Swiatek besting Sabalenka in Stuggart and Sabalenka getting revenge in Madrid.

(4) Elena Rybakina (13.14)

There's little doubt that Rybakina is a contender for any title. The 23-year-old had a slow start to her clay season after finishing runner-up at the BNP Paribas Open in March. Just when she needed it most, the Kazakh found her clay-court footing, winning the Rome title with wins over Swiatek, Marketa Vondrousova, and Jelena Ostapenko (all high INSIGHTS favorites). She's landed in the same half as Swiatek, with the first seed she could meet being American Shelby Rogers.



Sleeper Picks to Watch

(17) Jelena Ostapenko (12.74)

Six years ago, Jelena Ostapenko made history by winning Roland Garros unseeded at the age of 20 and becoming the first Latvian to win a Grand Slam. Though her results haven’t quite matched that level since, she’s shown steadier flashes of brilliance, particularly this year with a quarterfinal run at the Australian Open and a semifinal appearance in Rome.



Karolina Muchova (12.79)

According to INSIGHTS, unseeded Karolina Muchova has a real shot at upsetting No. 8-seeded Maria Sakkari in the first round. It'll feel like ill-fated deja vue for Sakkari as she lost to the 26-year-old Czech in the second round of Roland Garros last year. Muchova's UTR Rating puts her just inside the Top 10 list for favorites at the clay-court major.

Marketa Vondrousova (12.88)

Like Ostapenko, Marketa Vondrousova has experienced success on the Parisian clay before. The left-handed Czech reached the Roland Garros final unseeded in 2019. If she could keep injuries at bay, Vondrousova would be most likely to go deep at ever tournament. On the comeback from yet another wrist setback, the 23-year-old picked up some notable wins this year, including over Ons Jabeur twice and Sakkari.

UTR Ratings and INSIGHTS probabilities as of 9 a.m. EST, May 25, 2023.

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