Recovered Rybakina ready to let her game do the talking at French Open

After falling ill and facing setbacks in her preparation for the French Open, Elena Rybakina, the fourth seed, is determined to demonstrate her return to peak form on the tennis courts at Roland Garros.

Despite withdrawing from the Italian Open due to sickness, Rybakina, a former Wimbledon champion, has already claimed titles in Brisbane, Abu Dhabi, and Stuttgart. Alongside Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka, she is considered one of the top contenders at Roland Garros.

Last year, Rybakina was forced to withdraw from the French Open due to illness as well, but after a commanding victory over Belgium’s Greet Minnen in the first round, she expressed her readiness for the claycourt slam and displayed frustration with inquiries about her fitness. Following her Tuesday triumph, Rybakina confidently stated, “I feel quite confident. Physically, I am much improved compared to last year when I had to withdraw. I have recovered from COVID-19, so naturally, I am in a much better state now. The questions are repetitive, so I am unsure of what else to say. Longer tournaments can be exhausting at times, but I am delighted to be back and eager to continue playing. My ultimate goal is to win titles; that’s what I strive for.”

Sabalenka commenced her campaign at Roland Garros by easily defeating Russian player Erika Andreeva with a commanding score of 6-1, 6-2 in the first round. She now continues her pursuit to overthrow three-time champion Swiatek as she prepares to face Japanese qualifier Moyuka Uchijima.

On the men’s side, the current world number one, Novak Djokovic, carries on his title defense against Roberto Carballes Baena. Meanwhile, Casper Ruud, last year’s runner-up, will also take on a Spaniard, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Ruud, from Norway, expressed his high level of confidence after winning the Geneva Open last week. He stated, “That’s why I enjoy playing the week before a Grand Slam. It boosts my confidence and gives me a sense of match readiness heading into a Grand Slam. Personally, I believe this Grand Slam offers me the best opportunity to perform well.”

Alexander Zverev, the fourth seed who triumphed over the 14-time winner Rafa Nadal in the opening round, will face David Goffin. Additionally, Daniil Medvedev, another top-10 seed, will go up against Serbian player Miomir Kecmanovic.

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