The Belarussian player is counted among those players capable of winning the event and this was certainly a very good start. There have been some storylines regarding this match and as expected we didn't see a handshake. There were some cheers and booes as it unfolded so the crowd had an opinion on it.
2023 French Open Roland Garros ATP and WTA Prize Money and Points Breakdown with €49.6m on offer
The first set started well for both players. We saw a really good level from both with Kostyuk being the first one to break taking an early 3-2 lead. She couldn't hold it as Sabalenka broke back again however Kostyuk forced break points at 3-3 again. Sabalenka held and then completely took over the first set finishing it off 6-3.
There was a noticeable rise in level in her game as she looked to finish off the set. She played with more force and ultimately that force was the crucial factor. She had 11 winners, six more than Kostyuk. The power in her game is something many pointed to when talking about her chances in Paris and for now, it seems like a huge factor.
Preview 2023 French Open Roland Garros: Life after Nadal, chance for Djokovic and Swiatek’s dominance questioned
The second was even more impressive by Sabalenka who continued to play heavy pressure on her opponent who simply couldn't hold the line very well. The Belarusian took an early break and then added another one cruising through the games without any issues. She did face break points in the final game but held firm to finish off the match in two sets.
Just a very solid performance with 19 winners and one ace as well. Once she got over the slow start, she managed to cruise easily through the rest of it.