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Caroline Garcia at WTA Finals

French Open 2023: Dark horses to win the women’s singles


The 2023 French Open is nearly here, and intrigue and interest is really starting to crank up a notch. Much of that is due to a typically brilliantly stacked women’s draw.

While most will understandably have Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka among the strong favourites to add to their collection of majors, there is no shortage of contenders.

Let’s take a look at some of the names not among the strong favourites but who must be taken very seriously at Roland Garros regardless.

Jessica Pegula

Age: 29
Best French Open: QF (2022)

There are few players on the WTA Tour who command as much respect as Pegula does. She has a supreme work ethic and that is evidenced by her still improving in her late-20s.

Pegula has been playing the best tennis of her life in the last couple of years and would be a popular Roland Garros winner.

Caroline Garcia

Age: 29:
Best French Open: QF (2017)

There hasn’t been a women’s French Open winner at Roland Garros since Mary Pierce in 2000, but Caroline Garcia provides a genuine home contender this time.

While Pegula has consistently improved, Garcia is currently enjoying a true renaissance as a re-emerged force in the WTA after winning the Tour Finals in November.

Elena Rybakina

Elena Rybakina Wimbledon 2022

Age: 23
Best French Open: QF (2021)

It definitely feels like time some respect was put on Rybakina’s name. Despite being an actual reigning Wimbledon singles champions, she was shunted to the outside courts at the Australian Open.

She has proven her breakthrough last year was not a fluke by winning Indian Wells this year and she will be seriously fancying her chances of more major success in Paris.

Jelena Ostapenko

Age:25
Best French Open: Winner (2017)

If you are thinking about trying to predict how Jelena Ostapenko will do at any given tournament, then you’re a braver person than me.

The Latvian’s talent is unquestioned and she already has a French Open title to her name. There’s nothing to say the can’t win another either, but it really appears to just decide upon what kind of mood she is in on any given day.

Paula Badosa

Paula Badosa Indian Wells Masters 2021

Age: 25
Best French Open: QF (2021)

Clay court prowess is not just a Rafael Nadal thing, it’s a Spanish thing. Players are raised on the surface in Spain and you can see all that upbringing in Badosa’s game.

She is still waiting for a genuine Grand Slam breakthrough, but the French Open represents her best chance to get it.

Barbora Krejcikova

Age: 27
Best French Open: Winner (2021)

Just image how good you have to be on clay to win one French Open title. Now consider how good you need to be to win two in one year.

That is what Krejcikova did in 2021 when she won the singles and doubles title at Roland Garros, and no one would be surprise to see her on the podium again.

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