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Five French Open ‘Winners’ Other than Novak Djokovic and Iga Swiatek

Karolina Muchova at the French Open.

As with every Grand Slam, the 2023 French Open began with 128 respective competitors in the men’s and women’s singles draws and concluded this past weekend with one victory emerging from each draw, Novak Djokovic and Iga Swiatek.

To be clear, though, two winners does not equate to having just two successful Roland Garros participants. Players carried a wide scope of expectations heading into the tournament. And for every Daniil Medvedev or Elena Rybakina, players who fell well short of their goals, there are countless others who raised a personal bar for themselves while in Paris.

Karolina Muchova, CZE

Much has already been written about Karolina Muchova’s incredible run to the French Open final after an array of injuries cast doubts on her future in tennis. All told, Muchova’s two-week redemption tour included early round wins over the likes of world #8 Maria Sakkari, a dramatic, resilient semifinal victory over world #2 (and Australian Open) Aryna Sabalenka and, finally, becoming the first and only player to take a set off of Swiatek.

Tomas Martin Etcheverry, ARG

Anyone who was caught by surprise by the quarterfinal run from Argentina’s Tomas Martin Etcheverry hasn’t been paying paying attention. The 23-year-old hadn’t reached the quarterfinal of any ATP event to begin the 2023 season, but has since reached two ATP finals (Chile Open and the US Men’s Clay Court Championships) and a Challenger final (Bordeaux). After recording his first career Grand Slam main draw victory in Australia, he knocked out  15th seed Borna Coric, Australian #1 Alex de Minaur, then-world #33 Yoshihito Nishioka and the hard-hitting Briton Jack Draper without dropping a set.

Mirra Andreeva, RUS

In case there was any doubt, Roland Garros made it clear that women’s tennis has its new phenom. Roughly a month removed from her 16th birthday, Mirra Andreeva continued her stunning ascent up the WTA rankings. She won three matches to advance through qualifying and then defeated Alison Riske and Diane Perry to set up a marquee third round clash with 2022 runner-up Coco Gauff, which she lost in three sets. Her run in Paris moved her up to 101st in the world. Fans watching Andreeva’s rise will also want to pay attention to her close friend Alina Korneeva, winner of the Australian Open and French Open junior girls’ titles.

Sebastian Ofner, AUT

It had been a long six years since Sebastian Ofner’s last Grand Slam victory. After knocking off Jack Sock and Tomaz Bellucci to reach the third round of Wimbledon in 2017, Ofner had only made one main draw appearance at a major since (2022 French Open), losing to Alexander Zverev. This time around, some qualifying momentum helped the 27-year-old Austrian take down Maxime Cressy, Sebastian Korda and Fabio Fognini before bowing out to fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the fourth round. After his impressive run, Ofner rose to 81st in the world and became the top-ranked Austrian in place of a certain Dominic Thiem.

Bianca Andreescu, CAN

A former major winner, Bianca Andreescu has endured a tough few injury-riddled years in pursuit of the form that helped her win the 2019 US Open. Even a trip to the fourth round in Miami earlier this year was undone when she suffered a gruesome ankle injury. There is plenty of encouragement, then, to be taken from a run that saw her topple former-world #1 Victoria Azarenka en route to the third round, which remarkably enough represents her second-best result at a Slam. Andreescu also enjoyed a run to the mixed doubles final with partner Michael Venus.

Main photo credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports


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