The Insider Wrap is a recap of everything you need to know from the week (or two) that was. The clay-court spectacle in Roland Garros is behind us, with Iga Swiatek coming up big again and Karolina Muchova pulling together a career-best tournament, while Hsieh Su-Wei and Wang Xinyu teamed up for a winning run.
Performance of the Tournament: Iga Swiatek
Iga Swiatek admitted her quest for a third Roland Garros title was the most pressure-packed fortnight of all her Parisian adventures. From the injury cloud that hovered over her and the news that her top spot was under threat for the first time in 62 weeks, Swiatek found herself in the position of having to run the table to keep her position intact.
It was all going according to plan when she found herself up 6-2, 3-0 in the final against Karolina Muchova. Then, in what felt like an instant, the plan fell apart when Swiatek dropped the second set.
French Open finals reaction
- 'The final of her life': Media buzz on the Roland Garros championship
- 'I gave my everything on the court today': Muchova reflects on first Slam final
- Swiatek holds off Muchova to win French Open title; fourth major overall
- Amid high stakes, Swiatek found another way to win the French Open
- Champions Corner: A last-minute alliance the winning formula for Hsieh and Wang
- Champions Corner: How low-energy mode in pressure situations helped Swiatek to victory
Swiatek responded by digging in to come back from a break down twice in the final set to seal the win. As the tour's premier frontrunner -- the final was only her fifth three-set match of the season -- Swiatek showed how tough she can be during those tense moments.
At the Hologic WTA Tour's halfway mark in 2023 🗓️— wta (@WTA) June 12, 2023
Take a look through the latest leaderboards across singles and doubles! 📈
Surprise of the Tournament: Karolina Muchova
Keen observers were not surprised to see Muchova in a major final. If anything, the impulse was to shout "Well, it's about time."
But for Muchova to do it on her least favorite surface by upsetting No.2 Aryna Sabalenka was a shocker. And Muchova came within five points of potentially winning the tournament. Her gritty effort against Sabalenka was the performance of the tournament. She maintained constant pressure on Sabalenka for more than three hours to put herself in position to save a match point and capitalize when the Australian Open champion buckled from 5-2 up.
She leaves Paris back in the Top 20 and -- thankfully for everyone in the locker room -- she'll be seeded at the majors for the foreseeable future.
Elina Svitolina: The former World No.3 returned to the tour quickly after giving birth to her daughter in October. After going 0-3 in her first three tournaments back, it was easy to wonder if it was all too soon. But playing her first major since the 2022 Australian Open, Svitolina's march to the quarterfinals was the heartwarming story of the tournament.
Beatriz Haddad Maia: It was an eventful clay-court season for Haddad Maia. Two weeks before Paris, she lost a tough three-set match to Anhelina Kalinina in the Rome quarterfinals. At the time, it was the longest match of the season. At Roland Garros, she turned the tables, putting in a 3-hour and 51-minute effort to get past Sara Sorribes Tormo in the Round of 16 and set the new mark for the longest match of the season.
Tacking on a win over Ons Jabeur, Haddad Maia became the first Brazilian woman to make the semifinals in Paris in the Open Era. She leaves the tournament with her Top 10 debut.
Mirra Andreeva: The 16-year-old came up short in her marquee showdown with Coco Gauff in the Round of 16, but Andreeva continues to be a marvel. Much like Gauff's breakthrough at 15, Andreeva seems to have arrived to the tour fully formed, both on and off the court.
Hsieh Su-Wei and Wang Xinyu: The duo won the Roland Garros doubles title in just their second tournament as a team. Unseeded in Paris, they knocked out five seeded teams.
Ons Jabeur and Coco Gauff: Given their clay-court prowess, both players would have liked to have gone further than the quarterfinals. But given Jabeur's injury issues and Gauff's confidence going into Roland Garros, making it to the business end of the tournament was a big win.
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova: The Slovakian defeated Madrid and Rome semifinalist Veronika Kudermetova in the first round and did not drop a set en route to her first Round of 16 at a Slam. It was a huge moment for one of the tour's grinding veterans, as she explained here.
Leylah Fernandez and Taylor Townsend: The Canadian-American duo have been fantastic since pairing in Indian Wells. They've now made two big finals, in Miami and Roland Garros. The loss to Hsieh and Wang will sting -- they were two points from the title in the second-set tiebreak -- but this moment of Townsend giving Fernandez a pep talk gives hope that their first big title is just around the corner.
28-2: Iga Swiatek's career win-loss record at Roland Garros. Only two players in the Open Era have done better in their first 30 matches at a Grand Slam event: Monica Seles at the Australian Open (30-0), Seles at Roland Garros (29-1) and Chris Evert at Roland Garros (29-1).
22: Swiatek, who celebrated her 22nd birthday early in the fortnight, is the youngest player to secure four women’s singles Grand Slam titles since 20-year-old Serena Williams won the 2002 US Open for her fourth Grand Slam title.
16: Swiatek is the first player in 16 years to successfully defend a French Open women's singles title from the previous season. The last player to do so was Justine Henin, when she won her third straight French Open title in 2007.
5: Karolina Muchova's semifinal upset of No.2 Aryna Sabalenka improved her career record against players ranked inside the Top 3 to a perfect 5-0, a streak that eventually ended against Swiatek in the final.
1: With her run to the quarterfinals, Tunisia's Ons Jabeur has become the first African tennis player in the Open Era to reach the quarterfinals or better at all four Grand Slam events.
Photo of the Tournament
Shot of the Tournament
Daria Kasatkina earned the first-week honors with her perfectly struck tweener, but Karolina Muchova's sliding volley late in the second set of the final will leave a lasting impression.
Honorable mention: Coco Gauff's leaping reverse-Slam overhead backhand was struck so well that it bounced over Mirra Andreeva's head.
With the clay-court season coming to a close at Hologic WTA Tour-level, the players turn to grass, with WTA 250 events at s'Hertogenbosch and Nottingham taking place on that surface this week.
A notable return to tour will occur at s'Hertogenbosch, where seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams will play her first match since the opening week of the season.