Blockbuster WTA Rome Field to Answer Pre-French Questions?
by Staff | May 10th, 2015, 11:50 am

With 16 of the Top 18 players on the WTA tour including world No. 1 Serena Williams and surprise Madrid winner Petra Kvitova, and more floating upset-makers meeting seeds in the first round than you can shake a racquet at, this year’s Italian Open will be telling leading into the French Open in a couple weeks.

Storylines that could be answered this week in Rome:

Can world No. 1 Serena Williams take a figurative punch in the face and get right back in the fight after tamely exiting Madrid in her first loss of the year?

Is Petra Kvitova the real deal on clay after Madrid, or was it just a fluke week for the hot-and-cold former Wimbledon champ?

Is Maria Sharapova done collecting clay court titles after her inexplicable “Queen of Clay” run the last couple years?

Are Genie Bouchard and Simona Halep ready to pull out of their slumps and step up on the dirt?

Here is a look at the field this week:

Seeds: Serena Williams, Simona Halep, Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova, Caroline Wozniacki, Eugenie Bouchard, Ana Ivanovic, Ekaterina Makarova, Angelique Kerber, Carla Suarez Navarro, Karolina Pliskova, Lucie Safarova, Sara Errani, Venus Williams, Madison Keys, Jelena Jankovic

Floaters: Sam Stosur, Timea Bacsinszky, Sloane Stephens, Sabine Lisicki, Belinda Bencic, Alize Cornet, Victoria Azarenka, Zarina Diyas, Camila Giorgi, Francesca Schiavone, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Garbine Muguruza

Notes: The Top 8 seeds receive opening-round byes, with potential tough starts for (1) Serena vs. the Slam champ Stosur, (11) Pliskova vs. the en fuego Bacsinszky (winner to meet the Stephens-Lisicky victor), (7) Ivanovic vs. Bencic, (9) Kerber vs. the upset specialist Cornet, (5) Wozniacki vs. Azarenka in a battle of former No. 1s, (6) Bouchard vs. the riser Diyas, (16) Jankovic vs. the homer Giorgi, (4) Kvitova vs. the former French champ Schiavone, (8) Makarova vs. the hot-handed Kuznetsova, and (14) Venus Williams vs. the Spaniard Muguruza…

Wildcards went to Italians Nastassja Burnett, Karin Knapp and Schiavone…

Serena’s draw to the semifinals could go through Stosur, last year’s finalist Errani then the former French champ Ivanovic to meet either Sharapova or Wozniacki in the semis…

The No. 2 seed Halep’s draw to the semis could go through Americans Alison Riske or Varvara Lepchenko, then Venus Williams, Safarova, and Kvitova or a surprise Suarez Navarro in the semis…

Pulling from the event were Peng Shuai, Andrea Petkovic and Agnieszka Radwanska (arm injury)…

Serena Williams is the two-time defending champion, last year beating Errani 6-3, 6-0 in the final…

Former champs in the field are Serena Williams (2014-13,’02), Sharapova (2012-11), Jankovic (2008-07), and Venus Williams (1999).


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19 Comments for Blockbuster WTA Rome Field to Answer Pre-French Questions?

FedExpress Says:

and I thought kvitova is the current wimbledon champion

jalep Says:

Simona in a slump? Maybe on clay. But she won Indian Wells, made the final in Miami.
Won Dubai. Won Shenzhen. Lost in quarterfinals AO to Makarova.

In 2015 her win/loss record is 26-5
On hard 23-2
Clay 2-2

She’s unlikely to win in Rome. In fact I think she injured something there last year.

Not sure the conditions in Rome help Petra.

I’d go with Serena or Sharapova, I guess.

jalep Says:

^ She had a Fed cup loss, I think, which accounts for the missing loss above.

Kimmi Says:

I agree jalep, simona not in slump. she has been switching first place with serena on the road to singapore race. She just had a bad day in madrid.

But Bouchard definitely in slump. I heard yesterday that, madrid first round loss was her 6th in a row.

jalep Says:

Yes. Bouchard has taken a nose-dive Kimmi.
You think it’s the loss of her coach she had when she was doing so well? Is she hard to get along with, though appears so sweet? I dunno…
Sometimes it’s a mystery. Something personal? Side-tracked by love? My imagination runs wild…

jane Says:

definitely tough starts for azarenka/woz and petra/schiavone (on home dirt). but serena versus stosur? i think serena can manage.

interesting ideas on bouchard, jalep, but definitely confusing. also i don’t think clay is her best surface. maybe on grass she’ll get some mojo back?

halep was so good in paris last year. i hope she can make a good run again this year.

jalep Says:

There’s a couple early round matches I’m looking forward to following tomorrow:

Anna Schmiedlova got a lucky loser spot v Lucie Safarova. and…
Camila Giorgi v Jankovic.
Simona v tough little Puerto Rican, Monica Puig.
Serena v Pavyluchenkova.
Maria v Gajdosova.
Vika v Dellacqua.
Lisicki. V Bacsinszky
Panetta v Svitolina.
Carla Suarez Navarro v Mona Barthel.
Belinda Bencic.v Gavrilova.
Ursula Radwanska v Camelia-Begu.

Well, jane, I hope you are right about Genie getting her MOJO back.

Wog Boy Says:

Bouchard shouldn’t be worried about coaches, look at Ana Ivanovic, she just sacked her 11th coach!
How many players had 11 coaches by the age of 27?

jalep Says:

Wog Boy lol…astonishing!

Still I love watching Ana Ivanovic!! Her ajde’s and little fist pumps…

jane Says:

omg, wog boy – 11, really? i wonder why ana keeps sacking them? could they be trying to get her in the sack? seriously, though. that’s crazy.

Wog Boy Says:

jalep, I love watching her too, with or without fist pump:)

jalep Says:

I’m not a guy, obviously. But I appreciate how very watchable and cute she is :)

Wog Boy Says:

jane, I was wrong, that was her 12th coach:
Nikola Cetnik (1994–2001)
Dejan Vranes (2002–2004)
Eric van Harpen (2004–2005)
Zoltan Kuharszky (2005–2006)
David Taylor (2006–2007)
Sven Groeneveld (?–2009)
Craig Kardon (2009)
Heinz Günthardt (2010)
António van Grichen (2010–2011)
Nigel Sears (2011–2013)
Nemanja Kontic (2013–2014)
Dejan Petrovic (2014–2015)

jane Says:

that’s some list wog boy. how can she ever get a sense of stability – personally or with her game – with all that going on?

Wog Boy Says:

^^^sorry, sorry, sorry .. it should say “guy”

Wog Boy Says:

This was the post I was sorry about and I miss spelled one word, it is under moderation and should stay there, I corrected it:

jalep, I know you are not a guy, you are the posters that loves tennis first and then particular player(s), best kind of fan and somehow I believe your ancestors roots are going all the way to one beautiful city on the Black Sea coast, that is where from you inherited such a nice and warm soul, I am psychic, I can feel it;)
Don’t tell me if I am right or wrong, please.

jalep Says:

Wog Boy. You are close great grandmother…Odessa. Great grandfather…Saratov area, Yogdnaya.Polyana. paternal side. Immigrated to America, 1901. Maternal side from England…been here since the Mayflower time or thereabouts.

You should be a psychic! lol..

jalep Says:

Hope I didn’t embarrass you by answering, Wog Boy…and it is off topic…yikes.

I grew up watching Fiddler on the Roof :D

Wog Boy Says:

jalep, not at all:)

“Fiddler on the roof” …very appropriate for the person with Odessa/Saratov great grandparents.

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