2024 French Open draw analysis: Iga Swiatek eyes fourth title at Roland Garros

World number one and defending champion Iga Swiatek could face another four-time major champion in Naomi Osaka in the second round.
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The men's and women's singles draws for the 2024 French Open were announced Thursday morning.

This article examines the women's draw and discusses who, if anyone, could stop Iga Swiatek from winning her fourth French Open crown. She has won three titles at Roland Garros already.

Swiatek also has a firm grasp on WTA No. 1 but there could be a battle for No. 2. This is what to expect.

Will Iga Swiatek win her fourth French Open title in 2024?

First Quarter: Iga Swiatek's quarter full of major champions and finalists

Iga Swiatek swept through the lead-up tournaments to the French Open, defeating world number two Aryna Sabalenka in consecutive finals at Madrid and Rome. Swiatek is far and away the best clay court player on tour and is the massive favorite for the title. That being said, she has drawn a tricky quarter full of major champions and finalists that could give her some trouble.

Most notably, Swiatek could face former world number one and four-time major champion Naomi Osaka in the second round. Osaka is improving with each tournament she plays and has the power to beat anyone in the world. That being said, beating Swiatek on Iga's best surface (and Osaka's worst) is likely too big a task at this point in Osaka's comeback.

Also present in this section are former champion Barbora Krejcikova, former finalist and reigning Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova, and the red-hot Danielle Collins and Marta Kostyuk. Neither Krejcikova nor Vondrousova have played their best tennis this year due to injuries. Collins is slated to play Kostyuk in the third round, and I expect the winner of that match to make it to the quarterfinals. Given Collins's form, it's hard to pick against her.

Predicted quarterfinalists: Swiatek, Collins

Second Quarter: Can Coco Gauff solve her serving issues in time?

Third seed Coco Gauff will open her campaign against a qualifier or lucky loser. It is a welcome first match for Gauff, who has severely been struggling with her serve the last few tournaments. Gauff's stellar movement, backhand, and fighting ability have allowed her to win matches despite the serve, but she will need to solve the serving woes if she wants to make another deep run at the French Open. Standing in Gauff's path to the quarterfinals are the mercurial Liudmila Samsonova and crafty Beatriz Haddad Maia.

On the bottom half of this quarter are former champion Jelena Ostapenko and three-time major finalist Ons Jabeur. Jabeur has had a disastrous year by her standards, and Ostapenko has not advanced past the third round at the French Open since her 2017 triumph. I would not be surprised if this opens the door for someone like Caroline Garcia or Sofia Kenin to sneak out of this section.

Predicted quarterfinalists: Gauff, Garcia

Third Quarter: Elena Rybakina given the friendliest quarter of the bunch

Fourth seed Elena Rybakina finds herself probably in the weakest of the four quarters of the draw. Rybakina could face Angelique Kerber in the second round, but the French Open has been Kerber's least successful major by a large margin. Elise Mertens, Elina Svitolina, and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova are all good clay court players, but none have had tremendous success on the singles court this year. Expect Rybakina to make it through to the quarterfinals unscathed.

Rising stars Zheng Qinwen and Jasmine Paolini are in the top half of this quarter. Paolini shocked the field en route to her maiden WTA 1000 title in Dubai but has cooled off since then. Similarly, Zheng has had mediocre results since losing in the Australian Open final to Sabalenka. Zheng will open against the retiring Alize Cornet, so she should expect a battle in front of the French crowd.

Predicted quarterinalists: Zheng, Rybakina

Fourth quarter: Aryna Sabalenka leads a dangerous section

Second seed and reigning Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka comes into the French Open after a stellar clay court season. Sabalenka has reached the semifinals or better at her last six majors, which shows how consistent she has been over the last years.

Sabalenka has some work to do to advance to another semifinal. Looming as potential opponents are former finalist Sloane Stephens, a surging Yulia Putintseva, and Americans Madison Keys and Emma Navarro. Keys and Navarro are likely competing for the final American Olympic singles spot and could face one another in the third round.

On the top half of Sabalenka's section, there is a mix of young stars and established veterans. Teenagers Linda Noskova and Mirra Andreeva made waves at this year's Australian Open, knocking out Ons Jabeur and Iga Swiatek respectively. Noskova finds herself seeded at the year's second major and opens against Harriet Dart, whereas Andreeva narrowly missed out on a seed and begins against big-serving American Emina Bektas.

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Amongst the young talent, veterans Maria Sakkari, Victoria Azarenka, and Daria Kasatkina look to make a deep run. All three have had relatively successful seasons, with Sakkari having more consistent results after a rollercoaster of a 2023 season. Sakkari, however, is 1-4 in her last four majors and has not reached the second week of a major in over two years. Azarenka has had some solid results this season, and I think the former world number one still has another deep run at a major in her.

Predicted quarterfinalists: Azarenka, Sabalenka

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