French Open: Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and Coco Gauff are among the women to watch in 2024

PARIS (AP) — Here are some of the women to watch at the French Open, which starts at Roland Garros on Sunday:

Iga Swiatek

Seeding: 1

Career-Best Ranking: 1

Country: Poland

Age: 22 (Turns 23 on May 31)

2024 Record: 38-4

2024 Titles: 4

Career Titles: 21

Grand Slam Titles: 4 — French Open (2020, 2022, 2023), U.S. Open (2022)

Last 5 French Opens: 2023-Won Championship, 2022-Won Championship, 2021-Lost in Quarterfinals, 2020-Won Championship, 2019-Lost in 4th Round

The Bracket: Could face four-time major champion and former No. 1 Naomi Osaka in the second round.

Aces: The ninth woman to spend at least 100 weeks at No. 1 in the WTA rankings since they began in 1975. ... Is 4-0 in Grand Slam finals. ... Nine of her 21 WTA singles titles have come on clay, including in Madrid and Rome this season. She is the first woman to win the championships in those two cities back-to-back since Serena Williams in 2013. ... Youngest woman to collect at least 20 singles trophies since Caroline Wozniacki in 2012. ... Voted WTA Player of the Year in 2023 for second season in a row; Serena Williams was the last to get that honor consecutively, doing so from 2012-15.

She Said It: “I don’t think we all know what our limits are unless we’re done or we’re really mature.”

Read All About It: Swiatek has won three of the past four French Opens

Aryna Sabalenka

Seeding: 2

Career-Best Ranking: 1

Country: Belarus

Age: 26

2024 Record: 25-7

2024 Titles: 1

Career Titles: 14

Grand Slam Titles: 2 — Australian Open (2023, 2024)

Last 5 French Opens: 2023-SF, 2022-3rd, 2021-3rd, 2020-3rd, 2019-2nd

The Bracket: Could face several players with experience in late stages of majors — Daria Kasatkina, Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys, Maria Sakkari — on the way to what could be a matchup against Iga Swiatek in the final.

Aces: Won the past two Australian Open titles. ... Was the runner-up to Swiatek in Madrid and Rome. ... Best result in Paris was getting to the semifinals last year before squandering a match point and a 5-2 lead in the third set to lose to eventual runner-up Karolina Muchova (who is injured and not in the field at Roland Garros this year). ... Has a record of 50-8 in her last 10 major tournaments. She was 16-14 in the first 14 of her career. ... Reached at least the semifinals at each of the past six Slams. ... Briefly ranked No. 1 last season.

She Said It: “After the Australian Open, I struggled for a couple of months. It’s been intense. It was tough to find myself back.”

Read All About It: Sabalenka's French Open got complicated off the court in 2023

Coco Gauff

Seeding: 3

Career-Best Ranking: 3

Country: United States

Age: 20

2024 Record: 25-8

2024 Titles: 1

Career Titles: 7

Grand Slam Titles: 1 — U.S. Open (2023)

Last 5 French Open Opens: 2023-QF, 2022-Runner-Up, 2021-QF, 2020-2nd, 2019-Did Not Play

The Bracket: Could face Iga Swiatek in the semifinals in what would be a rematch of the 2022 final, won by Swiatek.

Aces: Has reached at least the semifinals at the past two majors, the first time she's done that consecutively in her still-nascent career. ... She won the U.S. Open last September — the first American teenager to triumph there since Serena Williams in 1999 — then made it to the semifinals at the Australian Open this January. ... The 2024 French Open will be Gauff's first Grand Slam tournament as a 20-year-old. ... Has been ranked No. 1 in doubles. ... Started working with coach Brad Gilbert after a first-round exit at Wimbledon last July.

She Said It: “With the way my career has (gone), I played a lot of big names early. I think I just got used to separating the name from, I guess, the match.”

Read All About It: Gauff's first Slam trophy came at age 19

Elena Rybakina

Seeding: 4

Career-Best Ranking: 3

Country: Kazakhstan

Age: 24

2024 Record: 30-5

2024 Titles: 3

Career Titles: 8

Grand Slam Titles: 1 — Wimbledon (2022)

Last 5 French Opens: 2023-3rd, 2022-3rd, 2021-QF, 2020-2nd, 2019-1st

The Bracket: Could face another past Wimbledon winner, Angelique Kerber, in the second round.

Aces: Pulled out of the Italian Open, citing an illness. ... Withdrew from Roland Garros before her third-round match a year ago because she was sick. ... Won Wimbledon in 2022, but did not get the usual rankings bump because no points were awarded by the tours there that year. ... Reached the final at the Australian Open in 2023. ... Leads the WTA in aces this season; she's the only player with more than 200. ... Had a 16-match winning streak on clay until a loss to Aryna Sabalenka at Madrid.

She Said It: “The general public, they see us play — of course they don’t know how tough it is to be on the tour and how tough it is being a tennis player. Some weeks are good; some weeks are not.”

Read All About It: Rybakina's Wimbledon title came with a muted response

Marketa Vondrousova

Seeding: 5

Career-Best Ranking: 6

Country: Czech Republic

Age: 24

2024 Record: 10-7 (Entering Strasbourg)

2024 Titles: Zero

Career Titles: 2

Grand Slam Titles: 1 — Wimbledon (2023)

Last 5 French Opens: 2023-2nd, 2022-DNP, 2021-4th, 2020-1st, 2019-RU

The Bracket: Could face No. 11 seed Danielle Collins in the fourth round.

Aces: Has just two tour-level titles so far — but one came at a Grand Slam tournament, Wimbledon last year. ... The left-hander has been sidelined for chunks of time because of wrist problems. ... While still a teenager, Vondrousova showed how talented, and how capable on clay courts, she is when she made a run to the final at Roland Garros before losing to Ash Barty.

She Said It: "It’s great to know that I can play anywhere.”

Read All About It: Vondrousova is a unique champion

Zheng Qwinen

Seeding: 7

Career-Best Ranking: 7

Country: China

Age: 21

2024 Record: 16-9

2024 Titles: Zero

Career Titles: 2

Grand Slam Titles: None — Best: Runner-Up, Australian Open (2024)

Last 5 French Opens: 2023-2nd, 2022-4th, 2021-DNP, 2020-DNP, 2019-DNP

The Bracket: Faces popular French veteran Alizé Cornet — who will retire after the tournament — in the first round.

Aces: An up-and-coming player with star potential who took a set off Iga Swiatek at the French Open two years ago and really broke through at the Australian Open this January by making it all the way to the final. ... Winning 74.4% of first-serve points, which leads the WTA among players with at least 20 matches this season. ... 2022 WTA Newcomer of the Year. ... Now working with Pere Riba, who was helping coach Coco Gauff last year when she won her first Grand Slam title at the U.S. Open.

She Said It: “If you lose, there must be a reason behind why you lose, and we have to try to figure out why and then come back stronger and better next time.”

Read All About It: Zheng makes her way into her first Grand Slam final


Howard Fendrich has been the AP’s tennis writer since 2002. Find his stories here:


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