French Open: Iga Swiatek heavy favorite despite tough draw

Iga Swiatek is a heavy favorite to win her fourth career French Open title despite facing a potentially difficult gauntlet of opponents at Roland Garros.

Swiatek, who turns 23 next week, was announced as the top seed on Thursday. BetRivers oddsmakers installed her as the -150 favorite to win the women’s draw despite a potential second-round clash against four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka of Japan in the second round.

Osaka has slipped to No. 48 in the world and faces Italy’s Lucia Bronzetti in her opener. Osaka (+6000) could also face No. 3 seed Coco Gauff in the semifinals and No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in the final.

Sabalenka is being offered at +500 while Gauff is being offered at +800 along with Elena Rybakina. No other player in the women’s draw has shorter odds than that of Danielle Collins at +2200, who does not own a career grand slam title. While Collins did win the Miami Open this year, her best previous showing at Roland Garros was the quarterfinals in 2020.

That was the year of Swiatek’s first French Open title, and she enters this year as the two-time defending champion. She will begin her latest title defense against a qualifier or a lucky loser. Swiatek also faces potential matches against former French Open winner Barbora Krejcikova (+15000) in the fourth round and Collins or Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova (+5000) in the quarterfinals.

Swiatek has been dominant on the surface, winning the tune-up tournaments in Madrid and Rome. She is seeking to join Chris Evert (seven titles), Steffi Graf (six) and Justine Henin (four) as the only four-time winners in Paris in the Open Era.

Sabalenka will meet Erika Andreeva of Russia in the first round, while Gauff drew a qualifier or lucky loser in the opener.

The fourth-seeded Rybakina will open against Greet Minnen of Belgium.

–Field Level Media