July 16, 2024
Aryna Sabalenka

Aryna Sabalenka will start her campaign at the French Open 2024 against Russia’s Erika Andreeva.
Belarusian tennis star Aryna Sabalenka has emerged as the new torchbearer of women’s tennis, alongside Iga Swiatek, Elena Rybakina and Coco Gauff. Sabalenka is a two-time Australian Open champion and also reached the final of the 2023 US Open.

However, the 26-year-old is yet to play a Grand Slam final on a surface other than hard court. In 2023, she was eliminated in the semi-finals of the French Open and the Wimbledon Championships by Karolína Muchová and Ons Jabeur respectively. Sabalenka has been decent on clay, as she has played the finals at the Madrid Open and the Italian Open; however, she failed to walk out victorious on both junctures.

Moreover, Iga Swiatek has also taken a significant lead in the WTA rankings by crossing the 11,000-point mark and former World No. 1 Aryna Sabalenka would be looking forward to decreasing the lead. Hence, without further ado, let’s take a look at Aryna Sabalenka’s projected path to the French Open 2024 final:

First Round: Erika Andreeva
Aryna Sabalenka will commence her campaign against Russia’s Erika Andreeva, who’s the older sister of Mirra Andreeva. With three ITF titles and little experience playing on the main Tour, Erika Andreeva is unlikely to give tough competition to Sabalenka in the first round.

Second Round: Moyuka Uchijima
The two-time Grand Slam champion will potentially face Japan’s Moyuka Uchijima in the second round of the 2024 French Open. Uchijima is currently ranked 80 in the WTA rankings and has won a total of 12 IFT titles in her career. However, she also lacks experience of playing in the main draw.

Third Round: Paula Badosa or Yulia Putintseva
Aryna Sabalenka can cross paths with her good friend, Paula Badosa, in the third round of the tournament. Badosa, currently out of the top 100 in the rankings, recently found better form, which can guide her at least to the Round of 32. Meanwhile, Belarus’ Sabalenka can also lock horns against Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva. The Kazakh tennis star has faced Sabalenka only once before, where she recorded a straight-sets victory.

Fourth Round: Madison Keys
14th seed Madison Keys is expected to be Aryna Sabalenka’s Round of 16 opponent. The World No. 2 leads Madison Keys 3-1 in their head-to-head record. However, Keys reached the semi-finals of the 2024 Madrid Open, where she lost against Iga Swiatek. In addition to that, she also won the Internationaux de Strasbourg last week by defeating Danielle Collins’s in straight sets.

Quarter-final: Maria Sakkari or Daria Kasatkina
In the quarter-finals, Aryna Sabalenka can face Greece’s Maria Sakkari or Russia’s Daria Kasatkina. The Belarusian tennis star leads both players in their head-to-head record and has also never lost a match against either on the red dirt. She’s expected to record easy wins over either of them in the last eight if she manages to maintain her good physical shape.

Semi-final: Elena Rybakina or Zheng Qinwen
Zheng Qinwen put up a stellar display of her on-court prowess at the 2024 Australian Open. The Chinese tennis star reached the final of the Grand Slam, eventually losing to Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets. However, at the French Open, she has a potential chance to complete redemption over the Belarusian.

Meanwhile, Elena Rybakina has also been keen to win her second Grand Slam title after Wimbledon 2021. She has failed to achieve success at the clay court major. However, following her withdrawal from the Italian Open, she will be making a fresh start at Roland-Garros.

Final: Iga Swiatek
Aryna Sabalenka can face Iga Swiatek for the third time in a final in the same clay season at the 2024 French Open. The Polish tennis star is the ultimate favourite to win the title, as she has been flawless since the Madrid Open.

Meanwhile, Sabalenka has suffered sore defeats against Swiatek in the finals of the Madrid Open and the Italian Open. However, despite all the odds favouring the Pole, the two-time Australian Open winner has the skill-set to turn around her fortunes.

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