Jessica Pegula believes Elena Rybakina could dethrone Iga Swiatek at Roland Garros

Saturday, 25 May 2024 at 06:30
Former Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina tops the list of challengers who could prevent World No.1 Iga Swiatek from successfully defending her Roland Garros crown, according to Jessica Pegula.
Swiatek has already had an incredible season, winning four titles including the Qatar Open, Indian Wells, Madrid Open and Rome Open. The polish star enters Roland Garros as the top seed and two-time defending champion. Furthermore, her red hot form has seen her win two consecutive titles on clay prior to the event.
In an appearance on NBC Sports, World No.5 Pegula was asked to break down the French Open women's draw. When asked for potential challengers to Swiatek's crown, Pegula picked Rybakina as the most likely to dethrone the champion.
"I think [Elena] Rybakina can definitely, if she's healthy," said the American. "I don't think she has ever lost to her, actually. I don't know if they've played much, though, on clay. But I think a girl like that can definitely beat her.
Furthermore, she gave credit to compatriot Coco Gauff and reigning Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka, stating both could pose a threat to Swiatek's reign.
"I think Coco [Gauff] is good on clay," added Pegula. "If she can play well and catch her [Iga Swiatek] on kind of an off day and make her uncomfortable, it's just a little bit harder to make her uncomfortable on clay because she's super comfortable on clay.
"I think Aryna [Sabalenka] and Elena [Rybakina] are probably the people that can beat her, like the challenge of playing her on clay. I think she's still kind of the favorite going into this tournament."

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