Serena Williams isn’t counting on winning Roland Garros and just needs more matches says Barbara Schett as she gives her predictions on who will win.
Serena has had a very poor build-up to the French Open by her standards, losing in the first round in Rome and only winning one match in Palma before getting defeated.
It means that she has only played three competitive matches since her Australian Open semi-final defeat to Naomi Osaka in February leaving many wondering how prepared she is for her French Open campaign.
Former top ten player Barbara Schett, now analyst, believes that while Serena just needs more matches under her belt, the main contenders for the title are the last two winners.
“The big favourites to me are Ash Barty and Iga Swiatek,” Schett told Eurosport.
“It’s a shame Simona Halep had to pull out. but it’s going to be exciting.
“I don’t see Naomi Osaka winning the title because she doesn’t feel comfortable on clay. Same with Serena Williams – I think for her it’s just important for her to play matches.
“I don’t think she is counting on winning title in Paris, if she makes it through the first week then it’s been a success.
“Barty and Swiatek are my favourites. Iga has peaked in her form, Ash Barty has won a couple of titles including one on clay – I’d love to see the two competing against each other in the later stages of the Grand Slam, maybe even the final.”
Asked if any other players could make a bid for the Roland Garros crown, Schett says although she isn’t expecting any real surprises, there are another couple of names in the hat.
“I don’t see any new name popping up who could do major damage. It would be interesting to see Sofia Kenin too I guess, she hasn’t been overly convincingly, made a lot of changes in her team, so I think she hasn’t played her best tennis just yet. For me, it’s Barty and Swiatek.
“I don’t want to rule out someone like Sabalenka as well because she has actually had a pretty solid clay court season – she was a finalist in Stuttgart, she won in Madrid and she is dangerous.
“Over the course of two weeks, I am not sure Sabalenka has the stability, she gets carried away sometimes and has lots of ups and downs. She can cause some damage though.”
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