Expert picks: Who will win the 2023 French Open titles?
Without King of Clay Rafael Nadal playing, can Novak Djokovic win — and set the men’s record for most Grand Slams? Or will the victor be heir apparent Carlos Alcaraz?
Iga Swiatek has won two out of the past three French Open titles, but will Aryna Sabalenka or Elena Rybakina get the better of the world No. 1? And can Coco Gauff back up her magical run to the final from last year, or take the doubles title with Jessica Pegula?
Our experts attempt to answer these questions and make their predictions as the French Open starts on Sunday.
Who will win the women’s singles title and why?
Chris Evert: I pick Swiatek to win because she’s still the more experienced and consistent player on the women’s side on clay. I think she has paced herself well and will be fresh and ready to go. She moves better than most of her opponents and is hungry. She wants more majors on her résumé and this surface is maybe her best chance with the growing power in the game.
Cliff Drysdale: Swiatek to win. But she needs for Sabalenka to not be at her best. Sabalenka has overwhelming power, but she is not as mentally strong and could struggle to make the final stages. Swiatek has all-time groundstrokes but not a blockbuster serve, so a power player always has a shot.
Simon Cambers: Swiatek. I know she’s got a problem with Rybakina, and she has panicked a couple of times against the bigger hitters when things don’t go her way lately, but she’s a class act and the best player in the world, even more so on clay. You don’t win the title in Paris twice (in the past three years) without being able to cope with all kinds of challenges, and I expect her to make it three.
Bill Connelly: Swiatek is the favorite for all the obvious reasons — she’s won 18 of her past 19 matches at Roland Garros (dropping only three sets in the process) and 40 of her past 44 on clay. But Sabalenka and Rybakina have played at elite levels of late, too, and former contender Barbora Krejcikova (the 2021 champ) has had some awfully strong moments of late. Swiatek’s the top name, but if you ask me to take Swiatek or the field, I’m taking the field.
Tom Hamilton: I’m going for Rybakina. The reigning Wimbledon champion is becoming a superb all-court force, and after winning Indian Wells back in March, she has since backed it up on clay with a triumph at the Italian Open — though this was in part helped by three walkovers en route to the title. There’ll be others like Swiatek and Sabalenka who will push her close, but Rybakina can secure her second Slam in Paris.
D’Arcy Maine: Rybakina. While Swiatek has been the most dominant on the surface over the past few seasons, she hasn’t had her best stretch on clay this season and had to retire during her quarterfinal match against Rybakina in Rome with a thigh injury. Rybakina — who went on to win the title at the Italian Open — has been playing with something to prove this year. She would likely face Swiatek in the semis, and then potentially Sabalenka in the final (in what would be a rematch of the Australian Open final), but major title No. 2 seems well within reach.
Alyssa Roenigk: Swiatek. She won’t have an easy path through Sabalenka, though. She lost to the Belarusian in Madrid in May, and if Swiatek bows out before the semis, Sabalenka overtakes her as the world No. 1.