Chris Evert predicts French Open women's singles champion
Seven-time French Open champion Chris Evert has revealed who she thinks will win the 2023 women’s singles title at Roland-Garros.
The action in Paris gets underway on May 28 as world No.1 Iga Swiatek defends her crown at the major clay-court tournament.
Swiatek has just recorded her 58th consecutive week at the top of the WTA rankings but she is not unstoppable, recently proven by Aryna Sabalenka, who won the first Grand Slam of the year at the Australian Open in January.
Sabalenka beat Swiatek in the Madrid Open final on Saturday in the latest chapter of their rivalry while French Open 2022 runner-up Coco Gauff is also looking to dethrone the Polish superstar, who beat the American in last year’s final.
Evert feels Swiatek is the outright favourite to win Roland-Garros again but tipped Sabalenka and Gauff – as well as a fourth player – as other potential champions.
‘I think Iga Swiatek [will win the French Open],’ Evert told Eurosport. ‘Just with watching her the last few weeks, I liked the way she’s pacing herself.
‘She didn’t play Miami, she didn’t play the Billie Jean King Cup. She’s being smart about her training, and pacing herself and her rest. She just she looks primed.
‘Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff [are contenders too] because I’m American! I’m kind of looking to see how they do – Pegula is as solid as a rock, her mentality is so professional.
This lob ð¥¶@JLPegula | #MMOPEN pic.twitter.com/o5P4q6ALh6
‘She’s so focused, she’s so calm out there, she’s willing to take more chances. Now she’s willing to step it up, as we saw when she beat Iga which is great.
‘She’s going to have to play that way. She’s going to have to step up her level, and really go for more shots and be willing to take chances if she wants to win the title.
‘And then Coco. You know if you were to ask me, when she was 15 and when I saw her beat Venus – if you’d asked me it when she’s 19, would she have won a major, I would have said yes.
‘I thought by now she would have won a major; she came close last year at the French.
‘I just think that forehand and that extreme western grip has delayed her first major, it’s held her back a little bit.
‘She’s been on the Tour for four years. She has the experience. Now she has the confidence. She’s got good nerves. She’s got an excellent serve and a world-class backhand.’
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