Roland Garros 2024 Draw Preview (WTA) 

by Faizan Chaudhrey

Going into the clay court swing all the talk was about the WTA tours new “Big 3” of Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina. This has been true for 2024 overall but Iga Swiatek showed that when it comes to clay, she is a clear cut above the rest. Iga has won Madrid and Rome and goes into Roland Garros as a favourite to retain and win her 4th French Open crown. Can anyone stop her? Well, her draw is a tricky one and that has somewhat given the rest of the field a boost.  

The second grand slam of the year is on slow clay courts in the capital of France so expect lung busting rallies; a passionate tennis loving Parisian crowd and an elite level of competition. This is the marquee tournament of the clay court swing; it is a chance for grand slam glory, an opportunity to make history. 2000 points also awaits the winner in Paris. Let’s dive into the draw in detail. 

Notable Omissions 

There are some significant absentees for Roland Garros on the women’s side. Jessica Pegula has just come back from injury and has stated she is not match fit to compete. Simona Halep was not awarded a wildcard and seems to be out injured. Karolina Muchova, last year’s finalist is also injured; it is a massive shame as she has struggled to compete consistently at tournaments since that result. Former Grand Slams champions Emma Raducanu and Caroline Wozniacki were both not awarded wildcards for the event; both chose not to play qualifying. Wozniacki seemingly was quite unhappy with the decision; her father had some choice words for the tournament organisers! 


Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka, Elena Rybakina (“The Big 3”) 

There were questions on how Iga would handle fellow rivals Sabalenka and Rybakina as during the clay court swing. Well so far so good against Sabalenka! She won both Rome and Madrid by beating Sabalenka in the final and extended her head-to-head with the Belarusian to 8-3. The fact she was able to gain revenge against defending Madrid champion Sabalenka was impressive; and to do it saving five match points is even more impressive. Madrid is a faster clay court, so it means a tougher challenger for Iga, but she passed the test in an epic encounter.  

Her rivalry with Rybakina has been a little different; she has only played the Kazakh once this clay swing. This was on the faster indoor clay courts in Stuttgart where Rybakina won in 3 sets. This in my opinion has no bearing on what would happen on a slow outdoor clay court. Indoor conditions suit big servers like Rybakina, as do faster conditions. However, Rybakina seems to have at least a small mental edge given she holds a 4-2 winning head-to-head vs Iga. What is even more interesting is the fact that Rybakina beat Swiatek last year in Rome, albeit resulting from Iga retiring. The score was 1 set all and level in a deciding 3rd set at the time. I am more interested to see Swiatek face Rybakina in match at Roland Garros as she seems to be currently ominous task. 

Sabalenka and Rybakina have faced off once on clay this year in the Madrid semi-finals where Sabalenka edged the win in a deciding set tiebreaker. Rybakina has been quoted as saying that Sabalenka is a tougher match up for her compared to Iga. It’s no surprise then that her head-to-head with Aryna is 6-3 in favour of the Belarusian. 

Iga is looking to defend her Roland Garros crown and is the big favourite to do so; her draw however has made it somewhat trickier. The Polish superstar has a potential Naomi Osaka 2nd round matchup; yes, Naomi is not the force on clay that she is on hard court, but she still possesses enough to trouble Iga you’d think. She also has in form Danielle Collins in her quarter. Her projected quarter final match up is Marketa Vondrousova. The Wimbledon champion could be tricky if she picks up form; she made the Roland Garros final in 2019. She also has 2022 Roland Garros finalist Gauff in her half and 2017 Roland Garros champion Ostapenko. Swiatek has never beaten the Latvian on the pro tour (Ostapenko leads the head-to-head 4-0) and that could be an explosive semi-final. The silver lining is she avoids both Sabalenka and Rybakina in her half; if she does play one of them it will be in the final. 

Sabalenka will be looking to redeem herself after a disappointing loss to Karolina Muchova at the semi-final stage last year. The Belarusian was in control of a deciding set and let victory slip from her fingers. A win would have set up a blockbuster final with eventual winner Iga Swiatek. If she wants to win this year’s edition, she may have to go through both Rybakina and Swiatek in back-to-back matches (semi-final and final). Her draw is not an easy one as she could potentially face Badosa, in form Keys and Sakkari (her projected quarter finalist) before the semi-final stage. 

Elena Rybakina
Elena Rybakina

Rybakina with a decent draw

Elena Rybakina finally has a good draw! The Kazakh is renowned for getting terrible grand slam draws but her Roland Garros route does not look so bad. Yes, she could face familiar foes in Sabalenka and Swiatek at the semi-final and final stage, but she should be able to get there without too much trouble. That is assuming that her body holds up. The former Wimbledon champion pulled out of Rome with illness and was also hit with illness in last year’s Roland Garros. Fingers crossed she is fit and healthy and able to compete; she brings an extra dynamism to an already stacked WTA lineup. 


Madison Keys 

The American has been a surprise package during this clay court swing. She now has a higher career win % on clay than hard courts; crazy right? Keys had a disappointing start in Charleston losing her opening match but bounced back impressively to record a semi-final in Madrid and a quarter final in Rome. Both losses came at the hands of clay maestro Swiatek; with identical 6-1 6-3 results in favour of the Pole. She finished of her preparation picking up a title in Strasbourg against a solid field. There is no shame in losing to Iga and Madison has notched up impressive wins on clay against the likes of Jabeur, Gauff, Collins and Haddad Maia. The former US Open finalist will go into Roland Garros the most confident she has ever been in her career; at this stage of the calendar.  

Jelena Ostapenko 

I have gone for a wildcard pick here. I think wildcard is the most fitting phrase for Ostapenko in a tennis sense! The Latvian is a supremely talented ball striker but lacks consistency and control at the best of times. However; I am acutely aware that she won Roland Garros in 2017 and has the skillset to beat anyone. Ask Iga Swiatek if she wants to play Ostapenko? The world number 1 has a 4-0 losing head-to-head vs her.

Jelena Ostapenko

She made a solid quarter final in Rome (losing to Sabalenka) and a round of 16 result in Madrid (losing to Jabeur). These results came after a disappointing result on the indoor clay courts of Stuttgart vs Noskova. Her draw is not terrible, but she does have both Jabeur and Gauff in her quarter. Can she play dialled in tennis for two weeks; well, if she did it once she can do it again right? Let’s see what happens with Jelena. Don’t count her out just yet! 

Notable 1st Round Matches 

  • Svitolina vs Pliskova 
  • Badosa vs Boulter 
  • Stephens vs Putintseva 
  • Zheng vs Cornet 

Projected Quarter Finals 

  • Iga Swiatek vs Marketa Vondrousova 
  • Coco Gauff vs Ons Jabeur 
  • Elena Rybakina vs Qinwen Zheng 
  • Aryna Sabalenka vs Maria Sakkari 

Let’s look at some predictions for the last part of the tournament.

Quarter Finals: 

  • Iga Swiatek vs Danielle Collins 
  • Coco Gauff vs Jelena Ostapenko 
  • Elena Rybakina vs Jasmine Paolini 
  • Aryna Sabalenka vs Maria Sakkari 

Semi Finals: 

  • Iga Swiatek vs Jelena Ostapenko 
  • Elena Rybakina vs Aryna Sabalenka 


  • Iga Swiatek vs Elena Rybakina 


  • Iga Swiatek 

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