Sam Stosur thinks Aryna Sabalenka "is the best player this year so far" and warned the Belarusian could challenge Iga Swiatek at the French Open. Sabalenka, the 2023 Australian Open champion, won her second clay title last week after beating Swiatek in the Madrid final.
Clay is not Sabalenka's top surface but the Belarusian started her 2023 clay season with a Madrid victory and a runner-up finish in Stuttgart. "Iga's been the best player on clay by a mile, last year and this year so far, and just been so dominant throughout so much of the last two or three-year period.
(So) maybe a little bit of a shock, but Sabalenka's still the No.2 player in the world, knows how to win big tournaments, is obviously coming off her first Grand Slam win this year. I think she probably is the best player this year so far," Stosur told the Australian Open website.
Stosur thinks Sabalenka could win the French Open
Sabalenka, 25, is set to make her sixth French Open main draw appearance this year. In those five past appearances, Sabalenka not at least once managed to make the second week at Roland Garros.
But Stosur feels Sabalenka is a different player this year. "Nothing more so than (because of) how many matches she's won recently, winning titles. She could play on a field somewhere and she's gonna feel great. She hasn't gone into Roland Garros previously winning Madrid, winning her first Grand Slam, being the second player in the world consistently, and beating the best.
She's not going to be thinking about what she hasn't been able to do at the French Open. She's riding all of this right now, I'm sure, and she’s a different prospect this time around I think," Stosur said. It remains to be seen if Sabalenka can indeed win the French Open and start the 2023 season with back-to-back Grand Slam titles.