Aryna Sabalenka arrives at the French Open as the player most likely to challenge Iga Swiatek's dominance on Parisian clay as the world number two goes in search of her second major title this season after overcoming a brief loss of form.

Perhaps the only competitor on the women's tour with the power to blow opponents away like the retired Serena Williams used to, Sabalenka can be a threat on any surface if she eliminates the occasional inconsistency in her game.

The Belarusian displayed her powerful hitting skills when she successfully defended her Australian Open title in January, showing her readiness to extend her dominance beyond Melbourne's hardcourts. However, she suffered early defeats in Dubai and Indian Wells. Those setbacks were followed by the tragic news of Sabalenka's former boyfriend Konstantin Koltsov's apparent suicide, just before she played at her home Miami Open. Despite the heartbreaking news, she bravely competed and reached the third round.

After facing another setback on clay in Stuttgart, Sabalenka managed to grind out victories in Madrid and found her rhythm in a thrilling final against reigning Roland Garros champion Swiatek, narrowly coming up short. Reflecting on her strong performance in Spain, Sabalenka stated, "I fought back. I found my game. I brought everything back together and started playing at a high level. I had some difficult matches against top players and secured some wins. I came close to another title, but that's how it goes."

Sabalenka continued to build her momentum in Rome, despite dealing with illness and a concerning lower back issue. Although she once again fell to Swiatek in the title clash, there were several positive aspects despite the defeat. Sabalenka expressed, "I went through so many things. I'm proud that I was able to stay focused and keep winning, to fight my way to the final no matter what."

In 2023, Sabalenka had a remarkable campaign, following up her success in Australia with runs to the semi-finals at the French Open and Wimbledon before losing in a thrilling three-set encounter against Coco Gauff in the U.S. Open final.

With consistent performances in the last six majors, reaching the semi-finals or beyond, Sabalenka has proven to be one of the most reliable players on the grandest stage in the past two seasons. However, she doesn't consider herself the favorite in Paris, where Swiatek has triumphed in the last two editions after her breakthrough victory in 2020. Sabalenka said, "At the same time, I do feel like I can go for it. It's 50-50. But I prefer to be the underdog."