WTA Rome tennis action on Day 3 sees Serena Williams opposite Nadia Podoroska, and Karolina Pliskova and Madison Keys in action. We have previews and predictions for all the matches.
In addition to this article, we predict the rest of Wednesday’s slate, split between three other articles. One features Naomi Osaka vs Jessica Pegula, the second highlights Ashleigh Barty vs Yaroslava Shvedova, and the third features Simona Halep vs Angelique Kerber.
WTA Rome Day 3 Predictions
Karolina Pliskova vs Anastasija Sevastova
The h2h is 2-2, Pliskova won in Dubai when they met earlier this year. Pliskova is just 10-9 on the season with quarterfinals in Doha and Stuttgart, Sevastova is 14-10, including qualifying for Madrid and winning two more main draw matches to reach the third round. Sevastova won her first round match in Rome in three sets. Pliskova should be favored, but an upset looks to be brewing here, Pliskova’s form is not impressive and Sevastova is proving herself on clay right now. Sevastova in 3
Sara Sorribes Tormo vs Aryna Sabalenka
Sabalenka is on fire, 24-7 on the season, winning Madrid (and Abu Dhabi) and reaching the finals in Stuttgart. Sabalenka has only suffered one early exit at a tournament this season. Sorribes Tormo has also been excellent in 2021 compiling a 17-8 record but her clay court record has been middling, although she did win her first match in Rome. Unless Sabalenka is fatigued, the win streak should continue. Sabalenka in 2
Serena Williams vs Nadia Podoroska
It’s Williams first match since the Australian Open semifinals, as her more limited late career schedule now sees her prepare for the French Open on clay in Rome. Podoroska is at a career high of #44, and hasn’t played much on clay this year. However the 2020 French Open semifinalist has already proven herself on the surface. It’s hard to predict how Serena will play after the layoff, and as tough as it is to predict against her, Podoroska is capable of an upset, or at least challenging Serena here. Podoroska in 3
Madison Keys vs Iga Swiatek
Swiatek is 14-6 on the season and one of the top contenders for the title here. Keys beat countrywoman Sloane Stephens in the first round but her overall record this season, and resume on clay just doesn’t stack up. Swiatek should be able to exploit weaknesses in Keys game right now and advance with ease. Swiatek in 2