Swiatek set to defend French Open crown despite injury

·1-min read

Iga Swiatek is optimistic of being fit to defend her title at the French Open, easing the prospects of both singles champions being absent from Roland Garros.

On the day her fellow champion Rafael Nadal announced he would not be in Paris this year because of injury, Swiatek gave a more upbeat assessment of her own prospects after withdrawing during her Italian Open quarter-final.

The Pole sustained a right thigh problem during her clash with Elena Rybakina and called it a day at 2-2 in the deciding set in Rome.

But writing on Twitter on Thursday, Swiatek said: "Quick update. A couple of days off for sure. And booking my flight to Paris, so... fingers crossed, please! Hopefully, see you soon."

The world No.1 was on a 14-match winning streak in Rome having won the title the previous two years.

Fitness permitting, she will still go into the French Open as the title favourite but her lead over the rest of the women's field has narrowed, with Aryna Sabalenka and Rybakina both ahead of her in the 2023 standings.

Sabalenka, who beat Swiatek to win the Madrid Open earlier this month, has never been beyond the third round in Paris but winning the title could see her overtake her rival to become the world's top ranked player.