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May 23, 2024 11:57 am

Top seed Iga Swiatek, Naomi Osaka could face early dual at French Open

swiatek french open final

Iga Swiatek of Poland is the top seed at the French Open, which begins Sunday, and will open against a qualifier or a lucky loser as she attempts to win her fourth title in Paris.

It’s the potential second-round matchup that got attention when the draw was announced Thursday.

Swiatek and Naomi Osaka, another four-time Grand Slam winner, are on a collision course for the second round, provided Osaka gets past Italy’s Lucia Bronzetti, ranked No. 48 in the world, in her opener.

Osaka and Swiatek have met twice, splitting the matches on the hard courts.

But the French Open is played on the clay courts of Roland Garros, and Swiatek has been dominant on the surface, winning the tune-up tournaments in Madrid and Rome. She is the back-to-back defending champion.

Swiatek, who turns 23 next week, is seeking to join Chris Evert (seven titles), Steffi Graf (six) and Justine Henin (four) as the only four-time titlists in Paris in the Open Era.

If Swiatek advances past Osaka and through the draw, she could face No. 3 seed Coco Gauff in the semifinals and No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in the final. Sabalenka lost in the finals to Swiatek in both Madrid and Rome.

Sabalenka will meet Erika Andreeva of Russia in the first round, while Gauff drew a qualifier or lucky loser in the opener.

No. 4 seed Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan will open against Greet Minnen of Belgium.

Jessica Pegula, ranked No. 5 in the world, withdrew late Wednesday as she continues to recover from injury.

An intriguing first-round match awaits between former World No. 3 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine and former World No. 1 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, neither of whom has won a Grand Slam event.

–Field Level Media

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