Iga Swiatek and Coco Gauff booked their spots in the Roland Garros quarterfinals on Sunday. Can Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina follow their lead to put the Top 4 into the quarterfinals of a Slam for the first time since 2013?

The Round of 16 for the bottom half of the draw will get underway Monday in Paris, led by World No.2 Sabalenka and No.4 Rybakina, 17-year-old Mirra Andreeva and Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships winner Jasmine Paolini.

The top half of the draw was pure chalk on Sunday, with the higher-ranked seeds racing through their matches without the loss of a set. Here’s how Monday’s bottom-half matchups stack up:

[22] Emma Navarro vs. [2] Aryna Sabalenka

Head-to-head: Navarro leads 1-0

How big of a threat for the title is Sabalenka in Paris? A bigger one that people might realize. No one has been more consistent than Sabalenka at the majors over the past two seasons. She has not lost before the semifinals since the 2022 French Open.

Yes, Swiatek is the heavy favorite and she’s more than earned that tag, but her dominance on the surface shouldn’t overshadow Sabalenka’s improvements. Sabalenka was a match point away from making her first French Open final last year. She beat Swiatek last year to win her second Madrid title. This year, she’s been the one standing across the net from the World No.1 in the two biggest clay finals so far.

Navarro upsets Sabalenka in Indian Wells, grabs first Top 5 win

But first, Sabalenka will look to avenge her loss to Navarro at Indian Wells in March. In their first career meeting, Navarro notched the biggest win of her career, beating the No.2-ranked player 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. The American advanced to her first Grand Slam Round of 16 by edging Strasbourg champion Madison Keys in two tiebreaks.

The winner will play either Mirra Andreeva or Varvara Gracheva in the quarterfinals.

[15] Elina Svitolina vs. [4] Elena Rybakina

Head-to-head: Svitolina leads 2-1

Is another Cinderella run in the cards for Svitolina? The Ukrainian star was the story of the tournament last year, where she made her first major quarterfinal since giving birth to her daughter, Skai. She came into this year’s tournament bruised and battered from injuries and unsure of her level.

But Svitolina has won two of her three meetings against Rybakina. She also held match points against No.2 Sabalenka three weeks ago in Rome, but was edged out in a third-set tiebreak.

Rybakina had a business-like first week in Paris, where she is looking to improve on her best result, which came in the quarterfinals in 2021. After skipping Rome because of an illness, Rybakina has looked as dangerous as ever, especially in the roofed conditions.

The winner will play either Jasmine Paolini or Elina Avanesyan in the quarterfinals.

Varvara Gracheva vs. Mirra Andreeva

Head-to-head: First meeting

Don’t take for granted what Andreeva has made look so routine and easy. The 17-year-old has been virtually automatic in the first week at the Slams. After posting wins over Victoria Azarenka and Peyton Stearns, Andreeva is into her third Round of 16 in her past four major appearances. And she’s a heavy favorite to make her first quarterfinal.

But Andreeva will be taking on both Gracheva and the French crowd on Monday. Gracheva, 23, is playing her first Roland Garros as a French national, having switched her citizenship from Russia last year. She has been playing inspired tennis at Roland Garros and is now the last Frenchwoman standing in singles.

Elina Avanesyan vs. [12] Jasmine Paolini

Head-to-head: First meeting

Over the past three months, Jasmine Paolini has done a remarkable job of proving that her surprise run to the title in Dubai was no fluke. Her toughest moment of the first week came in the third round against Bianca Andreescu. In cold and rainy conditions, she shrugged off Andreescu’s second-set surge to dominate the deciding set 6-0.

Paolini now prepares to face a player who may lie low during tour events but consistently makes an impact at the Grand Slams. No.70 Avanesyan, 21, is playing her fifth Grand Slam main draw and already into her second Round of 16.

Last year in Paris, Avanesyan knocked out Belinda Bencic in the first round. In January, she ousted Maria Sakkari in the second round. To make the fourth round in Paris this year, she beat Zheng Qinwen in a third-set tiebreak.

All that is to say, Avanesyan has found her best tennis against the best players in the world. She’s more than capable of pulling off another upset here to make her first major quarterfinal.

Source: https://www.wtatennis.com/news/4032103/roland-garros-preview-andreeva-17-looks-for-first-major-quarterfinal

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