Barbara Schett details why Iga Swiatek remains No. 1 French Open favorite

Schett backs Swiatek to defend her French Open crown.

by Dzevad Mesic
Barbara Schett details why Iga Swiatek remains No. 1 French Open favorite

Barbara Schett named Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina among the French Open favorites but noted Iga Swiatek remains the No 1 favorite to lift the title at Roland Garros. After a 2022 season in which Swiatek pretty much dominated the biggest tournaments, things changed in 2023 as the Pole has gotten the competition in the names of Sabalenka and Rybakina.

Sabalenka, who the Australian Open earlier this year, is hoping to win back-to-back Grand Slams and soon overtake the Pole at the world No 1 spot. On the other side, Rybakina - who won WTA 1000 events in Indian Wells and Rome - will also be determined to make a strong French Open run.

"It's between Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina. Swiatek is playing some solid tennis, even though she recently lost against Sabalenka in Madrid, but the conditions there are much faster. 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," Schett said, per Eurosport.

Schett on why Swiatek is the No 1 French Open favorite

Swiatek won Stuttgart in her first clay tournament of the season, before losing to Sabalenka in the Madrid final. In Rome, Swiatek was forced to retire her quarterfinal match against Rybakina due to a thigh injury.

However, Schett believes Swiatek is still the No 1 French Open favorite. "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," Schett said.

Barbara Schett Iga Swiatek French Open