Iga Swiatek learns her projected path to defending French Open title
by DZEVAD MESIC | VIEW 2667
World No 1 Iga Swiatek has learned her projected path to defending her French Open title. Swiatek, seeded at No 1, will meet world No 67 Cristina Bucsa in her opener at Roland Garros. In the French Open second round, Swiatek is projected to meet 100th-ranked Claire Liu.
After what should be two very easy matchups, Swiatek is expected to have her first test in the third round when she likely meets No 31 seed Marie Bouzkova. In the French Open round-of-16, Swiatek is projected to meet 2021 French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova.
After meeting fellow French Open champion Krejcikova, Swiatek should meet Cori Gauff in a rematch of last year's final at Roland Garros. In the French Open semifinal, Swiatek is projected to meet fourth-seeded Elena Rybakina - the player against whom she is 0-3 in 2023.
The French Open final is projected to feature Swiatek and second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka.
Can Swiatek win her third French Open title this year?
Swiatek lifted her first Grand Slam title at the age of 19 when she won the 2020 French Open.
Last year, Swiatek won her second French Open crown after beating Gauff in the final. This year, Swiatek returns as the top favorite to repeat as the French Open champion. Just before the start of her French Open title defense, Swiatek recalled how her 2020 win at Roland Garros changed her life.
"It was like a quick course of maturity for me. Everything changed that day. In some ways, winning such a big tournament at such a young age makes it’s more difficult to win again due to the added pressure and expectation from others, from society but also from myself.
Most players have the sole goal of winning a big tournament like a Grand Slam. I achieved this early in my career which only made me even hungrier to win more. This feeling is something I try to deal with and use as motivation," Swiatek said.