World No. 1 Iga Swiatek missed some time after a disappointing 6-2, 6-2 loss to Elena Rybakina in Indian Wells, and it was later announced that the 21-year-old was dealing with a rib injury. Swiatek missed the Miami Open the following week, but she made her return in Stuttgart last week. Like riding a bike, Swiatek ended up winning the title, defeating Qinwen Zheng, Karolina Pliskova, Ons Jabeur (via walkover) and Aryna Sabalenka in the process. That win over Sabalenka came in the final and was a one-sided 6-3, 6-4 score.
Stuttgart confirmed what we already know: Swiatek is the best player in the world on clay, by far. Sure, this season has seen players like Rybakina, Sabalenka and Barbora Krejcikova narrowing the gap between Swiatek and the rest of the tour, but the gap still exists. And that gap is a lot bigger on clay, where Swiatek is 48-7 in tour-level matches throughout her career. With that in mind, this is the player you want to bet on to win the French Open.
Swiatek is the defending champion heading into Roland Garros, and she also won the tournament in 2020. At this point, it feels like the only thing that can prevent Swiatek from winning her third Grand Slam on the red clay is an injury. Last week showed us that whatever was bothering her at Indian Wells is a thing of the past, and she is looking like a tremendous value to win the 2023 French Open at -110 odds.