Iga Swiatek will open French Open defense against qualifier, could face Naomi Osaka in second round

Reigning champion Iga Swiatek and Naomi Osaka are on a collision course for the second round of the French Open, if they both win their first matches.

The world number one will face either an as yet unknown qualifier or a lucky loser when she begins her title defense, while Osaka, who is still recovering from maternity leave, will face Lucia Bronzetti.

Second seed Aryna Sabalenka will start against Erika Andreeva, with the top two seeds competing in separate halves of the draw. But the Australian Open champion is in the same half as former Wimbledon winner Elena Rybakina, who starts against Belgian Greet Minnen having enjoyed an impressive clay court season.

Not British. 1 Katie Boulter has a tough start against Paula Badosa, who is only ranked outside the top 100 because she is still recovering from a stress fracture in her back. Her British teammate Harriet Dart also has a tough match, against Czech Linda Noskova, seeded number 27.

There are some heavyweight draws in the first round, with Elina Svitolina drawn against Karolina Pliskova, who has dropped out of the world top 50.

US Open winner Coco Gauff also has a qualifier or lucky loser to face in the first round.

The road to the final is tough for Swiatek, who is aiming for a third consecutive title, with former winner Barbora Krejcikova, Danielle Collins and Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova as possible opponents.

Possible quarterfinals include Sabalenka against Maria Sakkari, Gauff against Ons Jabeur and Rybakina against Qinwen Zheng, who will play Alize Cornet in the first round, with the French player retiring after the tournament.

“I love this place, so I’m always excited to come back, it feels like home,” Swiatek said after the women’s draw ceremony.

“It’s my first day of practice, the court looks great, I just love it here.

“I have been working hard to play consistently at a high level, these latest results (winning titles in Rome and Madrid) are giving me confidence and I know that I can adapt to any type of conditions in a short period of time.

“There I played against the best players and that shows that the work we are doing is really paying off. I hope to continue here, but with completely different challenges.”

Swiatek hopes for a successful summer at Roland Garros, where he will return to represent Poland at the Paris Olympics. As the daughter of a former Olympic rower, it’s a big priority for her this season.

“It’s in my mind, I know that the Olympic Games are the most important (event) in sport in general. I love having the opportunity to compete, in Tokyo I remember how stressful it was.

“This time I am trying to keep expectations low, take advantage of the experience I gained in Tokyo and the last few years, treat this tournament like any other, even though it is an Olympic Games. It will definitely be exciting. Winning any medal would be a dream come true “.

You can watch every day of the 2024 French Open live and on-demand on Discovery+.

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