French Open 2022: Women's singles draw analysis, preview & prediction

Iga Swiatek at the 2020 French Open.
Iga Swiatek at the 2020 French Open.

Tennis action heads to Paris for the season's second Grand Slam, with the French Open set to begin on Sunday.

Iga Swiatek is the overwhelming favorite to win the women's singles title. The World No. 1 is currently riding a 28-match winning streak and has scooped up five titles on the trot.

But upsets are commonplace on the WTA tour and there are plenty of women waiting in the wings should Swiatek falter early on.

Ons Jabeur has been the second-best player this season and could very well challenge the World No. 1 for the title.

Barbora Krejcikova is the defending French Open champion in singles and doubles. But she's not competed in three months due to injury and question marks remain over her fitness and form.

Former French Open champion Simona Halep has always been a contender in Paris and will be aiming to make a deep run this year. Top-10 players Paula Badosa, Maria Sakkari and Anett Kontaveit will be on the hunt for their maiden Grand Slam success.

With main-draw action set to begin on Sunday, here is a look at the prospects of the top names in the fray.

First quarter: Iga Swiatek gunning for her second Grand Slam title at the French Open

Iga Swiatek at the 2020 French Open.
Iga Swiatek at the 2020 French Open.

Top seeded players: (1) Iga Swiatek, (8) Karolina Pliskova, (11) Jessica Pegula and (13) Jelena Ostapenko.

Expected quarterfinal: Iga Swiatek vs Karolina Pliskova.

Dark horse: Anhelina Kalinina.

Analysis: Iga Swiatek has been the best player on tour this year and arrives at the French Open as the firm favorite to lift the trophy. She'll start her campaign against a qualifier, followed by a second-round match-up with either Alison Riske or Dayana Yastremska. Liudmila Samsonova could await her in the third round.

Samsonova was the only player to take a set off Swiatek during the clay season, doing so in their three-hour tussle in Stuttgart. A win could pit the Pole against one of two former French Open champions in Jelena Ostapenko and Simona Halep.

The Latvian remains the last player to have beaten the World No. 1. However, Ostapenko is on a five-match losing streak and has managed to get past the first round of the French Open just twice in her career. Halep will in all likelihood pose a much sterner test for Swiatek should they meet in the last 16.

Karolina Pliskova, meanwhile, has had a rather up-and-down clay season so far. She managed just two wins in her first four tournaments, but has reached the semifinals of the Strasbourg Open at the time of writing. She has a winnable first-round match against Tessah Andrianjafitrimo in Paris, but Nuria Parrizas Diaz could challenge her in the second round.

Pliskova could face Madrid semifinalist Ekaterina Alexandrova in the third round, ahead of a potential fourth-round clash with old foe Jessica Pegula. The American leads 4-1 in the head-to-head and has been one of the most consistent players over the last year.

Predicted quarterfinal: Iga Swiatek def. Jessica Pegula.

Projected women’s quarter-finalsSwiatek vs PliskovaBadosa vs SabalenkaJabeur vs SakkariKontaveit vs Krejcikova#RolandGarros

Second quarter: Paula Badosa and Aryna Sabalenka headline relatively weak section of the draw

Paula Badosa at the 2021 French Open.
Paula Badosa at the 2021 French Open.

Top seeded players: (3) Paula Badosa, (7) Aryna Sabalenka, (9) Danielle Collins, (16) Elena Rybakina.

Expected quarterfinal: Paula Badosa vs Aryna Sabalenka.

Dark horse: Yulia Putintseva.

Analysis: Paula Badosa's best result at a Grand Slam came at the French Open last year, when she made the quarterfinals and will look to go a few steps further this time around.

Badosa has landed in a rather soft section of the draw. She's projected to face Fiona Ferro, Kaja Juvan and Veronika Kudermetova in the first three rounds. Out of the three, Juvan seems the player most likely to pose a threat to the Spaniard.

Meanwhile, 2021 French Open quarterfinalist Elena Rybakina will start off against Arantxa Rus and could face Viktorija Golubic in the second round. Australian Open semifinalist Madison Keys could be a potential third-round opponent for the Kazakh. However, the American has been quite inconsistent and could bow out early.

Rybakina is projected to face Badosa in the fourth round. The Spaniard has been the more consistent of the two and should have the edge in this contest.

Aryna Sabalenka headlines the other section of the quarter. Sabalenka has blown hot and cold all season and it's hard to predict which version of the Belarusian will show up in Paris. She is yet to progress beyond the third round of the French Open.

Sabalenka will take on Chloe Paquet in the first round, followed by a potential second-round clash against the tricky Madison Brengle. Either Camila Giorgi or Yulia Putintseva could be her third-round opponent.

Danielle Collins will start off against a qualifier and could meet compatriot Shelby Rogers in the second round. Daria Kasatkina, another player who had a successful clay season, is projected to face the American in the third round.

Sabalenka and Kasatkina are projected to face off for a quarterfinal spot from this section.

Quarterfinal prediction: Daria Kasatkina def. Paula Badosa.

Third quarter: Ons Jabeur, Maria Sakkari on collision course

Maria Sakkari at the 2021 French Open.
Maria Sakkari at the 2021 French Open.

Top seeded players: (4) Maria Sakkari, (6) Ons Jabeur, (12) Emma Raducanu and (14) Belinda Bencic.

Expected quarterfinal: Maria Sakkari vs Ons Jabeur.

Dark horse: Bianca Andreescu.

Analysis: Maria Sakkari almost reached her maiden Slam final at last year's French Open, but she failed to convert a match point in her semifinal clash against Barbora Krejcikova. She'll be keen to exorcise her demons from last year, but faces a challenging path if she wants to make a deep run.

Sakkari will begin against Clara Burel and could face Karolina Muchova after that. The Greek could face Amanda Anisimova in the third round.

Anisimova will take on four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka in the first round. The American ended Osaka's title defense at the Australian Open this year and given her form and prowess on clay, will be the favorite to come through this match.

Belinda Bencic and Bianca Andreescu will start against qualifiers ahead of a potential second-round meeting. The winner is likely to take on Leylah Fernandez in the third round, followed by Anismova for a place in the last eight.

Ons Jabeur won the Madrid Open and was a finalist at the Italian Open in the lead-up to the French Open. The in-form Tunisian is a favorite to make a deep run in Paris. Her first few matches are straightforward. Petra Kvitova, who hasn't been at her best this year, shouldn't trouble the World No. 6 if they meet in the third round.

Reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu's debut at the French Open will be against a qualifier. She could face the dangerous Aliksandra Sasnovich in the second round. Should the teenager get past the Belarusian, she's projected to take on three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber.

Kerber hasn't made it past the first round of the French Open in the past three years. However, she's currently in the semifinals of the Strasbourg Open and will fancy winning a few matches in Paris this time around. She'll start against Magdalena Frech and could meet Heather Watson in the second round.

Neither Raducanu nor Kerber really have the game on clay to defeat Jabeur if they were to face the Tunisian in the fourth round.

Quarterfinal prediction: Ons Jabeur def. Amanda Anisimova.

Roland-Garros women's singles draw : #RolandGarros

Fouth quarter: Barbora Krejcikova returns to action at the French Open for title defense

Barbora Krejcikova at the 2021 French Open.
Barbora Krejcikova at the 2021 French Open.

Top seeded players: (2) Barbora Krejcikova, (5) Anett Kontaveit, (10) Garbine Muguruza and (15) Victoria Azarenka.

Expected quarterfinal: Barbora Krejcikova vs Anett Kontaveit.

Dark horse: Kaia Kanepi.

Analysis: Barbora Krejcikova had a dream run at the French Open last year, winning the singles and doubles titles. However, a repeat seems unlikely as she hasn't played a match on clay heading into the French Open.

Krejcikova will kick off her title defense against Diane Parry and could meet Camila Osorio in the second round. Either Sorana Cirstea or former French Open finalist Sloane Stephens could be her third-round opponent.

Victoria Azarenka has had a decent clay season so far. She's up against Ana Bogdan in the first round. Her biggest test could come in the shape of Jil Teichmann, who she's projected to face in the third round. The Swiss reached the semifinals in Madrid and the quarterfinals in Rome.

Anett Kontaveit didn't compete much during the clay season and arrives at the French Open on the back of an opening-round exit from the Italian Open. She faces Ajla Tomljanovic in the first round and could make another quick exit if she's not at her best.

Garbine Muguruza, who won the French Open in 2016, hasn't won consecutive matches on clay this year. She'll take on giant killer Kaia Kanepi in the first round.

The biggest winner in this section is Coco Gauff. The American will start against a qualifier and could meet Alison Van Uytvanck in the second round. She might find herself batting against Azarenka or Teichmann for a spot in the quarterfinals.

Quarterfinal prediction: Jil Teichmann def. Coco Gauff.

Prediction for semifinals:

Iga Swiatek def. Daria Kasatkina

Ons Jabeur def. Jil Teichmann

Prediction for the final: Iga Swiatek def. Ons Jabeur

Edited by Arvind Sriram


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