Sabalenka, Swiatek Rivalry Continues At WTA Rome Masters

by Staff | May 8th, 2023, 8:57 pm
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After a stirring Madrid final, Iga Swiatek looks to get back on top of Aryna Sabalenka at the Rome Masters where she has won the last two years.

The 2-time defending champion will be joined again by another solid loaded field which includes 23 of the Top 25 missing only the injured Petra Kvitova and Belinda Bencic.

With just three weeks from the French Open, for many this is there last chance to hone their games before Paris.

Top seeds are 1 Iga Swiatek, 2 Aryna Sabalenka, 3 Jessica Pegula, 4 Ons Jabeur, 5 Caroline Garcia, 6 Coco Gauff, 7 Elena Rybakina, 8 Daria Kasatkina, 9 Maria Sakkari, 10 Barbora Krejcikova, 11 Veronika Kudermetova, 12 Beatriz Haddad Maia, 13 Karolina Pliskova, 14 Victoria Azarenka, 15 Ekaterina Alexandrova, 16 Liudmila Samsonova.

IGA SWIATEK QUARTER
Seeds: 1 Swiatek, 7 Rybakina, 9 Sakkari, 16 Samsonova, 21 Vekic, 24 Andreescu, 25 Mertens, 28 Pera
Floaters: Sasnovich, Fernandez, Parks, Kalinskaya, Kanepi, Paolini, Kontaveit, Vondrousova, Errani
Notable openers: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova-Sara Errani, Lesia Tsurenko-Elina Svitolina, Aliaksandra Sasnovich-Leylah Fernandez, Alycia Parks-Anett Kontaveit
Projected 3R matches: 1 Swiatek – 28 Pera, 21 Vekic – 16 Samsonova, 9 Sakkari – 24 Andreescu, 25 Mertens – 7 Rybakina
Notes: Tournament favorite Iga Swiatek looks to rebound after her Madrid disappointment on the slower Rome clay. The world No. 1 will have to face a former French finalist in the opener but looks good out to a quarter with Maria Sakkari, Marketa Vondrousova or possibly Elena Rybakina. Former two-time winner Elena Svitolina continues her comeback against countrywoman Lesia Tsurenko.

ONS JABEUR QUARTER
Seeds: 4 Jabeur, 8 Kasatkina, 10 Krejcikova, 15 Alexandrova, 18 Trevisan, 20 Ostapenko, 26 Teichmann, 32 Kostyuk
Floaters: Badosa, Cirstea, Giorgi, Muchova
Notable openers: Katie Volynets-Sorana Cirstea
Projected 3R matches: 4 Jabeur – 32 Kostyuk, 18 Trevisan – 15 Alexandrova, 10 Krejcikova – 20 Ostapenko, 26 Teichmann – 8 Kasatkina
Notes: An open section perhaps led by 2022 finalist Ons Jabeur. Former French champions Barbora Krejcikova and Jelena Ostapenko, the in-form Ekatarina Alexandrova, Paula Badosa and Sorona Cirstea could all come through. And there’s Italian favorite Camila Giorgi.

JESSICA PEGULA QUARTER
Seeds: 3 Pegula, 6 Gauff, 11 Kudermetova, 13 Pliskova, 22 Zheng, 23 Potapova, 27 Bouzkova, 31 Begu
Floaters: Putintseva, Cocciaretto, Davis, Niemeier
Notable openers: Elisabetta Cocciaretto-Lauren Davis
Projected 3R matches: 6 Gauff – 27 Bouzkova, 23 Potapova – 11 Kudermetova, 13 Pliskova – 22 Zheng, 31 Begu – 3 Pegula
Notes: The top two Americans – Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff – will fight for the semifinals. Gauff could face Anastasia Potapova who has had her number or Veronika Kudermetova. Pegula could face Irina Camila Begu and then either former champion Karolina Pliskova or Qinwen Zheng.

ARYNA SABALENKA QUARTER
Seeds: 5 Garcia, 12 Haddad Maia, 14 Azarenka, 17 Linette, 19 Keys, 29 Martic, 30 Kalinina
Floaters: Rogers, Zhu, Stephens, Noskova, Fruhvirtova, Podoroska, Kenin
Notable openers: Linda Noskova-Shelby Rogers, Lin Zhu-Linda Fruhvirtova,
Projected 3R matches: 5 Garcia – 29 Martic, 17 Linette – 12 Haddad Maia, 14 Azarenka – 19 Keys, 30 Kalinina – 2 Sabalenka
Notes: Can Aryna Sabalenka build off her Madrid title? The Belarussian won’t face much in the way of true clay opposition. There’s former French finalist Sofia Kenin and down the road Caroline Garcia in the quarters.

The projected quarterfinals:
No. 1 Swiatek – 7 Rybakina
No. 4 Jabeur – 8 Kasatkina
No. 6 Gauff – 3 Pegula
5 seed Garcia – 2 Sabalenka

The semifinals could see Iga Swiatek-Ons Jabeur and Jessica Pegula-Aryna Sabalenka.

Former champions: Swiatek(2), Svitolina(2), Pliskova
Former finalists: Errani, Jabeur, Cornet, Azarenka, Keys

Last year, (1) Iga Swiatek defeated (9) Ons Jabeur 6-2, 6-2 to win her 28th straight match.

LAST 10 ROME CHAMPIONS/FINALS
2022 Iga Swiatek d Ons Jabeur 6-2, 6-2
2021 Iga Swiatek d Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 6-0
2020 Simona Halep d Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 2-1 RET
2019 Karolina Pliskova d Johanna Konta 6-3, 6-4
2018 Elina Svitolina d Simona Halep 6-0, 6-4
2017 Elina Svitolina d Simona Halep 4-6, 7-5, 6-1
2016 Serena Williams d Madison Keys 7-6(5), 6-3
2015 Maria Sharapova d Carla Suarez Navarro 4-6, 7-5, 6-1
2014 Serena Williams d Sara Errani 6-3, 6-0
2013 Serena Williams d Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-3


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