Women's Winners and Losers from 2024 French Open including Paolini, Andreeva, Sakkari and Collins

Tuesday, 11 June 2024 at 11:29
With the 2024 French Open complete, we take a look at some of the winners and losers from this year's draw starting with the WTA with Iga Swiatek crowned the champion.
Sealing the deal by defeating Jasmine Paolini, both her and Swiatek were among the big winners in Paris. But there were a myriad of losers including mostly big names who didn't deliver on good draws or simply went out early. We delve into a few from each category with how it went right or wrong for them and how they look forward.

Winners -

Jasmine Paolini - from top 30 star to finalist and elite player

One of the main winners from Roland Garros this time around was Jasmine Paolini. The Italian in similar fashion to Karolina Muchova albeit with more pre tournament pedigree in prior tournaments came from nowhere to reach the final.
Albeit she wasn't as competitive in said final such was the dominance of Iga Swiatek who of course features on the list of winners for this tournament. Paolini won Dubai earlier in the season and has been one of the best players in the world for some time.
But whilst she won Dubai, similar to Anna Kalinskaya who reached the final she has not hugely kicked on despite her form line still remaining fairly good. She has won more in doubles than she has in singles as of late so came into the tournament as a dark horse but not one to be feared by any means.
But back-to-back wins over Elena Rybakina and Mirra Andreeva as well as priorly Elina Avanesyan and Bianca Andreescu both from set deficits proved that she has the fight and also the bottle to defeat the big players. A player who gets a lot of credit from this last fortnight. She is now up to World No.7. Not bad for in reality a late bloomer when it comes to tennis.

Bianca Andreescu - third round on return for first time in nearly a year

A popular returnee at the French Open was Bianca Andreescu. Many would've feared the worst when she decided to withdraw from Rabat in the lead-up to the French Open. She had not played since last August and has had to battle with a stress fracture in her back.
As Paula Badosa can attest having to have career saving injections every week, it certainly isn't simple by any means and Andreescu had the tennis world at her feet and it almost shattered like a mirror in front of her. Part of a long line of Grand Slam champions in that era prior to Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina dominating that failed to deliver.
Bianca Andreescu (pictured) came close to toppling Jasmine Paolini.
Bianca Andreescu (pictured) came close to toppling Jasmine Paolini.
File alongside Sofia Kenin, Emma Raducanu and Sloane Stephens for instance. But Andreescu was always a tad bit different, a few other first-time winners came from nowhere almost whilst Andreescu was one of the most in-form players that season. She defeated Serena Williams to a title back home in Canada, won Indian Wells and also claimed the US Open. So certainly not a flash in the pan. But she has dealt with a lot of injuries as opposed to the spotlight perhaps getting too much. When she has played, there have been a lot of glimmers of 2019.
She has openly admitted herself that she still aims for that period when she plays and at times she showed that it is very much still possible. Grinding past Sara Sorribes Tormo and Anna Kalinskaya during the tournament, she also was a set away from beating Jasmine Paolini. But rain set in during the only match played in those conditions and Andreescu suffered as a result. She heads forward to s'Hertogenbosch this next week and will be full of positives.

Naomi Osaka - defeated in first round but still full of credit

As will Naomi Osaka despite perhaps not getting the rewards both ranking wise and win wise that she should've got in reality. She faced Iga Swiatek in the second round of the French Open and had a match point to deny her.
In reality, it was a match that will be looked back on now as the caveat towards her run at the clay court major. It was the only time Swiatek was really troubled during the tournament and in a period where she says she wants to peak for the US Open in September, she is going about it in the right way.
Osaka will now head onto another surface she has had minimal success in on grass also playing in Rosmalen this week and will aim to sharpen her tools and form more ahead of the September set date.
Despite not beating Swiatek, Naomi Osaka leaves Paris full of credit.
Despite not beating Swiatek, Naomi Osaka leaves Paris full of credit.

Iga Swiatek - champion once more

Speaking of Swiatek, she became a four time French Open champion during this past fortnight. She joins Justine Henin in this achievement and also joins a select group of players to win it three in a row.
The superlatives have ran dry for Swiatek for many and many believe including the record holder herself Chris Evert that her 10 titles are at risk.
She now heads onto grass which like many of the others isn't a preferred surface. She will now have a week off with the Berlin Ladies Open next week. She has played every tournament including Madrid, Rome and now Paris in a row and has had minimal time off. But continued ominous signs from Swiatek who barely got broken no mind losing a set this tournament again.
One of the most dominant runs in Roland Garros history aside from the Osaka tie. But it is often the close shaves that make the champions who they are.

Mirra Andreeva - living up consistently to potential

Emerging last year, Mirra Andreeva has been a real success story and amid the dominance of players who are in their early 20's in Swiatek, Gauff, Rybakina and Sabalenka it is the next generation breaking through again.
Every few years, there is a new glut of stars that come through as the older lights fade and Andreeva broke into that party very much earlier than expected. Months after junior tennis was seen as the past, it was Andreeva over Alina Korneeva that broke the mould.
Mirra Andreeva (pictured) reached a maiden French Open semi-final.
Mirra Andreeva (pictured) reached a maiden French Open semi-final.
Very similar to Shelton and Stearns in their college routes of winning the NCAA then moving straight into senior tennis, it was a route that Andreeva took in moving straight into the main WTA ranks. One that paid off. She now has reached the Last 16 or now better given her run to the semi-finals of every single Grand Slam. Her stock is certainly on the rise and ahead of grass which is a proven good surface, it won't be long before she is also winning Grand Slam titles and becoming a top 10 player.


Now onto the losers in this piece and there are always at least a few. Underachieving after prior promise and it is mainly those who achieved before Roland Garros.

Madison Keys - fails to deliver on prior promise

Reaching semi-finals for fun prior to Roland Garros, Madison Keys won Strasbourg in the week prior and started well in Paris. She breezed past Renata Zarazua and Mayar Sherif. But came unstuck in two sets against Emma Navarro.
No real surprise given how good Navarro is and she only missed out on Olympic selection due to Keys and another name on this list reemerging. But it is very much a cautionary tale and one that players can't judge unless they simply don't play.
That is prior success in warm-ups doesn't matter unless it is the main event. Keys though who has been dogged by injury will no doubt continue that form into the grass season though and in the grand scheme of things was a minor loser from this tournament.
Danielle Collins (pictured) went from being the woman to beat to losing early in Paris.
Danielle Collins (pictured) went from being the woman to beat to losing early in Paris.

Danielle Collins - loses early and runs out of steam

This compared to Danielle Collins who has suddenly dropped from the conversation. From being seen as one of the best players in the world from March - June, she lost very early at the French Open.
It was Olga Danilovic who accounted for her in the second round. It was a revenge mission of sorts for the Serbian who had the Cinderella story aside from Paolini of the tournament. She reached the fourth round from qualifying before losing to Marketa Vondrousova.
So is it that bad of a defeat? On ranking and prowess yes. Collins like Keys played too much it seems before the tournament and made the poor decision in the end to play at Strasbourg. Both paid for it with early losses. Albeit with Collins retiring, she won't be as annoyed as usual from this defeat. But it could be construed as a missed chance. From one of the tournament favourites to being well defeated.

Maria Sakkari - crushing Grand Slam form continues despite recent resurgence

Another on this list is a certain Maria Sakkari. The Greek is a former semi-finalist in this tournament and was one of the real outside picks as ever. But as ever with her, it was a bit of a let down.
Losing in the first round again in a Grand Slam and given that it was a quarter where Paolini emerged from, it was an opportunity missed. Especially given Sakkari was the last to beat Swiatek at Roland Garros. She has also showed signs of a return to form under David Witt her new coach. This has included reaching the Last 16 or better in most of her tournaments since their partnership began.
So very much one that Sakkari will be ruing. Her fragility has to be called into question as a result.
Back to the drawing board against for Maria Sakkari.
Back to the drawing board against for Maria Sakkari.

Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina - Quarter-Finals but a missed opportunity for both

Finally it is Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina. Perhaps one that some will think is a puzzling choice. But both given their pre-tournament billing and form was a bit of a letdown and at least for Aryna wasn't really her fault.
Sabalenka had a stomach bug in similar fashion to Casper Ruud in the men's draw and this really hampered her. She was seen swigging Coca Cola for energy and to settle her stomach against Mirra Andreeva. Even wanting to retire at one point, it was certainly a performance to forget as she looked for all the will in the world like she was going to set up a final likely with Swiatek.
If not a semi-final with Elena Rybakina who is always a tough character to judge. Spending most of her time unwell, Rybakina didn't look great against Paolini albeit it wasn't too much of a disaster for her given that she didn't even play last year. So the points don't come off. But while she may be in better health than Wimbledon last year, she will still be thinking poorly of her run where the opportunity sat begging.

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