With just 3 days to start of the Roland Garros 2023, the main draw got revailed today with many interesting matches to come up from the start of first round. One headline news has preceeded the live ceremony of setting up the draw, as Paula Badosa has withdrawn from the tournament due to a stress fracture in the spine. One of the lucky losers from the qualifiers field will replace the Spaniard in the opening round match.
First quarter - Azarenka vs Andreescu and Swiatek to go for the 3rd title
Iga Swiatek will start her Roland Garros campaign from the first round match against Cristina Bucsa. Both players have already met in the Australian Open this year, when the match has ended up with a dominant win by the world's ranking leader. Swiatek can meet the Roland Garros 2021 champion Barbora Krejcikova in the round of 16, and set up the revenge for last year's final against Cori Gauff in the quarters. Victoria Azarenka vs Bianca Andreescu is the hit match-up for the first round in this quarter. The match between the Belarusian and the Canadian, who can be considered as one of the most dangerous unseeded floaters have no clear favorite and will be definitely fun to watch.
Second quarter - Rybakina capitalizes on the 4th seed
The Kazakh, who won the latest WTA 1000 tournament in Rome has reached out the 4th spot in the WTA rankings, which helped her to be seeded up to the semifinals. Rybakina can meet Swiatek in the potential semifinal's clash, but her road up to the top 4 can be considered as quite formidable. The reigning Wimbledon champion will start her campaign from the match against the player from qualies and it's hard to predict anyone who can be a dangerous opponent for Rybakina on the normal day in this quarter. Ons Jabeur will try to bounce back after some poor recent weeks, as the Tunisian needed to miss the WTA 1000 in Madrid due to an injury and lost to Paula Badosa in her first match in Rome. Jabeur has been eliminated in the R1 last year, so she has no points to defend this year, which can take some pressure off.
Third quarter - Three blockbusters from the start
While the second quarter does not bring any fireworks clashes from the first point of view, the third one is absolutely stunning. The world's number 3 and third seed Jessica Pegula will play her first match against Danielle Collins. This season is not a successful one for the last year's Australian Open runner-up, who has suffered a few surprising early exits from the tournaments, and missed the whole European clay swing. Collins has dropped down to 45th place in the rankings and did not get a very good luck in this draw, as colliding with the current US number one. Pegula, who is publicly known as a very consistent player has dropped the ball in the last appearance in Rome, where she got shockingly upset by another fellowcountry Taylor Townsend. Despite this, the 3rd seed will be a favorite there, especially that she has won all of the 3 previous meetings between both. Collins will surely not give up without a fight though, and with some good on-court performance, the big upset is not to be written-off there. Maria Sakkari, who is the 2nd highest seed in this quarter (#8) has also a super tough match to start from, as she plays against Karolina Muchova. The Czech is rapidly moving up in the rankings after coming back from the injury break and it's difficult to predict the winner here. The French fans will surely keep fingers crossed for Alize Cornet, who sets up an intriguing match-up between two very experienced players together with Camila Giorgi. The winner from this pairing will face Pegula or Collins in second round, which will be another interesting match in this section.
Fourth quarter - Sabalenka on the mission
Knowing that Iga Swiatek has 2000 points to defend due to the last year's victory here in Paris, Aryna Sabalenka has a good chance to close the distance in the WTA rankings, and the section of the draw where the Belarusian got placed as the 2nd seed is looking promisingly for her. The other high seeds there are Caroline Garcia and Daria Kasatkina, who struggle in this season so far. Sabalenka needs to overcome the first hurdle though, which will not be a cakewalk, as the current WTA Race leader meets Marta Kostyuk in one of the most exciting match-ups of the opening round. There are some other interesting names in this section as well. Jelena Ostapenko, who approached the semis in Rome is seeded with #17 and starts from the match against Tereza Martincova. The former world's ranking leader Karolina Pliskova (16th seed) play against the former US Open champion Sloane Stephens. Last year's semifinalist Martina Trevisan starts her quest of defending her rank from the match against Elina Svitolina, who comes back to a good form after the maternity break.