Aryna Sabalenka's shocking 2R loss at Italian Open "does not" affect her chances at French Open, says Andy Roddick

Aryna Sabalenka and Andy Roddick (inset)
Aryna Sabalenka and Andy Roddick (inset)

Former tennis player Andy Roddick believes that Aryna Sabalenka can bounce back from her second-round defeat at the Italian Open and make a strong comeback at the French Open.

In Rome, Sabalenka, who had just won the Madrid Open, suffered a shocking straight-sets loss to Sofia Kenin in her opening round. Despite showing determination to come back from a break down on two occasions and force the opening set into a tie-break, Sabalenka ultimately lost to the composed American player.

In a conversation with the Tennis Channel, Roddick expressed confidence in Sabalenka turning things around before the French Open, suggesting that the loss might be a result of the fatigue caused amidst the tight schedule.

"Maybe, there was a little bit of a hangover but those turnarounds have been done before and they used to be in a tighter schedule. So, it doesn't affect what I think as far as Sabalenka's chances at Roland Garros," he said.

Roddick, meanwhile, credited Kenin for her impressive performance, claiming that the American wisely stood inside the court to deny Sabalenka of fully exploiting her immense power hitting.

"Well, first let's acknowledge what Kenin did really well. She stood inside the court on the second serve, was changing directions, so Sabalenka wasn't hitting 2 or 3 shots from the same position where she can kind of get that cumulative effect of her immense power," Roddick opined.
"All the credit to Sofia Kenin. She was on her game and it was great to see it again," he added.

Kenin will next face Anhelina Kalinina in the third round on Saturday. This will be their seventh meeting on tour. The American leads 4-2 in the head-to-head.

Aryna Sabalenka suffers first loss before quarterfinals at any tournament in 2023 following Italian Open upset

Aryna Sabalenka at the 2023 Internazionali BNL D'Italia
Aryna Sabalenka at the 2023 Internazionali BNL D'Italia

Aryna Sabalenka suffered her first loss before the quarterfinals of any tournament this year following her shocking second round exit at the Italian Open.

Sabalenka reached the final in five of the eight tournaments she played in 2023, winning the title on three occasions. She suffered quarterfinal exits at the Dubai Tennis Championships and Miami Open, losing to Barbora Krejcikova and Sorana Cirstea respectively.

Sabalenka is currently 29-5 for the season with a win percentage of 85%.

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