It’s a loaded field at the Italian Open, where unseeded floaters Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Naomi Osaka and Svetlana Kuznetsova are among the players making it difficult for the seed in early-round meetings.
INTERNAZIONALI BNL D’ITALIA
ROME, Italy; surface: clay
Seeds: Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki, Garbine Muguruza, Elina Svitolina, Jelena Ostapenko, Karolina Pliskova, Caroline Garcia, Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens, Petra Kvitova, Angelique Kerber, CoCo Vandeweghe, Madison Keys, Daria Kasatkina, Anastasija Sevastova, Ashleigh Barty
Floaters: Victoria Azarenka, Naomi Osaka, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Barbora Strycova, Daria Gavrilova, CiCi Bellis, Maria Sharapova, Kiki Bertens, Ekaterina Makarova, Elena Vesnina, Laura Siegemund, Anett Kontaveit, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Kristina Mladenovic, Sam Stosur
The Top 11, and 16 of the Top 18 on the WTA rankings make for few easy draws in Rome…The Top 8 seeds receive opening-round byes…
Tough starts went to (1) Halep vs. the Azarenka-Osaka winner, (13) Keys vs. Pavlyuchenkova, (9) Stephens vs. the crafty Strycova, (3) Muguruza vs. the Gavrilova-Bellis winner, (16) Barty vs. Sharapova, (6) Pliskova vs. Bertens, (11) Kerber vs. Makarova who she lost to at the French last year, (8) Venus Williams vs. the Vesnina-Siegemund winner, (12) Vandeweghe vs. Kontaveit (winner to face Kuznetsova), (15) Sevastova vs. Mladenovic, and (2) Wozniacki vs. (WC) Stosur…
Wildcards were awarded to Stosur and Italians Sara Errani, Camilla Rosatello, Francesca Schiavone, and Roberta Vinci…
Withdrawing from the field were Alize Cornet, Julia Goerges, Elise Mertens and Serena Williams…
Svitolina is the defending champion, defeating Halep in last year’s three-set final…
Former champions in the field are Svitolina (2017), Sharapova (2015,’12-11), and Venus Williams (1999).
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