Tennis legend John McEnroe feels that though he would still pick world number one Iga Swiatek to defend the French Open title, Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka can give ber tough competition and have the power to even create a major upset.
The French Open is Swiatek’s comfort zone as she won the title two times, in 2020 and 2022. However, Sabalenka and Rybakina’s big serves can cause problems for the 21-year-old, believes McEnroe.
“On clay, she’s just a step above everyone. But I think Sabalenka and Rybakina can blow her off the court, they are such big hitters, big servers, particularly Rybakina,” McEnroe told Eurosport.
“I don’t know if you can do that long enough, but it is two out of three as opposed to the best five, so I think those types of players can cause problems. But I would still pick Swiatek.”
“I don’t know if you can do that long enough, but it is two out of three as opposed to the best five, so I think those types of players can cause problems. But I would still pick Swiatek.” Also Read: Iga Swiatek vs Cristina Bucsa Match prediction, head-to-head, preview, and live stream | French Open
Iga Swiatek opened her French Open campaign on May 28
Iga Swiatek has entered the 2023 French Open as a favorite to win the title for a third time in four years in Paris. Last year, she dropped just one set before clinching her second Roland Garros title, becoming a force to be reckoned with in women’s matches. Though the red dirt remains her forte, that doesn’t mean she is not formidable on other surfaces, which she proved she is when she clinched her third Grand Slam at the 2022 US Open.
Swiatek, 21, will turn 22 during the first week of the French Open. This season, she already has two titles to her collection, winning in Qatar and Stuttgart, reaching two more finals, which proves how dominant she is this season also.
However, she will be having tough competition in Paris. Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina outclassed the Pole in the Indian Wells semi-final, while Aryba Sabalenka won against Swiatek in the Madrid Open final. And in Rome, a thigh injury forced her to retire during the third set of a quarter-final match with Rybakina.
She opened her 2023 French Open campaign on Sunday (May 28) against Cristina Bucsa 6-4, 6-0 and will face Claire Liu in the next round on June 1.
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