Home » French Open 2023: Iga Swiatek begins title defence; Daniel Medvedev and Elena Rybakina are also in action

French Open 2023: Iga Swiatek begins title defence; Daniel Medvedev and Elena Rybakina are also in action

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French Open 2023: Iga Swiatek begins title defence;  Daniel Medvedev and Elena Rybakina are also in action
Iga Swiatek beat Coco Gauff in straight sets in last year’s French Open final
Dates: 30 May Venue: Roland Garros, Paris
Coverage: Live text and radio commentary of selected matches across BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra the BBC Sport website and app from 1300-1800 BST and 1930-2200

Defending champion Iga Swiatek begins her French Open campaign on day three as she chases a third Roland Garros title in four years.

The Polish 21-year-old is one of the favourites to lift the trophy but suffered an injury scare in the build-up to the clay-court Grand Slam.

Top-10 seeds Our Jabeur of Tunisia, Kazakh Elena Rybakina and American Coco Gauff also feature on Tuesday.

Daniil Medvedev opens against qualifier Thiago Seyboth Wild in the men’s draw.

The Russian second seed is among four players who could finish the fortnight as men’s number one, with Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas also capable of replacing Carlos Alcaraz.

Elsewhere, Norway’s 2022 finalist Casper Ruud and 20-year-old Danish sixth seed Holger Rune begin their respective campaigns.

Tuesday’s night session will once again feature a men’s singles match, with France’s Gael Monfils taking on Argentine Sebastian Baez on Court Philippe Chatrier (not before 19:15 BST).

Britons Neal Skupski, Jamie Murray and Lloyd Glasspool are all involved on the first day of the men’s doubles tournament.

An image of Iga Swiatek along with some of Tuesday's key matches - including the world number one's meeting with Cristina Bucsa

Top spot on the line for Swiatek

First up for Swiatek, winner of titles in Doha and Stuttgart this season, is a meeting with Spain’s Cristina Bucsa in the third match on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Swiatek, who must reach the last eight at Roland Garros to have a chance of extending her stay as world number one, is beginning a tournament with her ranking on the line for the first time since she took the top spot in April 2022.

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She is still recovering from the right thigh injury which forced her to retire from the Italian Open quarter-finals earlier this month, although she is optimistic it will not impact her title defence.

“Luckily nothing serious happened,” Swiatek said. “I’m still recovering from the injury but I’ll be good for my first round. That’s the most important thing.

“Having this time to reset, think about other stuff and just calm down for a couple of days was really helpful, and also to analyse what happened during the whole clay season.”

Jabeur begins proceedings on the main show court at 10:45 BST against Italy’s Lucia Bronzetti.

The Tunisian, who reached the Wimbledon and US Open finals in 2022, also picked up an injury in the build-up to the tournament but insisted she is “definitely” back to full fitness.

Wimbledon champion Rybakina, who claimed the biggest clay-court title of her career in Rome earlier this month, faces Czech 16-year-old Brenda Fruhvirtova on Court Suzanne Lenglen after Gauff’s match against Spain’s Rebeka Masarova.

Two-time major winner Victoria Azarenka, seeded 18th, goes up against Canada’s Bianca Andreescu, while 2021 champion Barbora Krejcikova meets Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko.

In-form Medvedev in contention

Medvedev has never previously advanced beyond the quarter-finals at Roland Garros, but he will feel confident of changing that this year.

The Russian has won a Tour-leading 39 matches in 2023, along with five titles – including the first of his career on clay in Rome – and begins his tournament against Brazilian qualifier Seyboth Wild.

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“For sure I have more expectations than I usually had at Roland Garros,” Medvedev said.

“But I know that it’s also tricky.”

Ruud, beaten by Rafael Nadal in last year’s final before finishing runner-up to Alcaraz at the US Open, is first up on Court Suzanne Lenglen at 10:00 BST against Sweden’s Elias Ymer.

Denmark’s Rune, who prepared for Roland Garros by beating Ruud and Djokovic on his way to the Italian Open final, starts against American Christopher Eubanks after German former world number two Alexander Zverev meets Lloyd Harris.

British trio begin doubles campaigns

Britain’s top-ranked men’s doubles player Skupski and team-mate Wesley Koolhof will begin their bid for a first major triumph as a pairing against Kazakh Andrey Golubev and Ecuador’s Gonzalo Escobar.

Fifth seeds Glasspool and Finland’s Harri Heliovaara take on Austrian duo Alexander Erler and Lucas Miedler.

Murray and New Zealand partner Michael Venus, the 13th seeds, face Diego Hidalgo, of Ecuador, and Spain’s David Vega Hernandez.

Elsewhere, Dutchman Jean-Julien Rojer and Argentine Marcelo Arevalo, the defending champions, meet Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas – who is seeded fifth in the men’s singles – and his younger brother Petros Tsitsipas.

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