WTA Rome Day 3 Predictions Including Naomi Osaka vs Jessica Pegula

Naomi Osaka French Open

Action has started to heat up on the WTA side in Rome with second-round matches underway. Four Americans take the court in the matches below, all trying to break the historic trend of subpar play on the surface. Rome is always one of the best tournaments on the calendar, and as always, we offer predictions for every match of the tournament.

In addition to this article, we predict the rest of Wednesday’s slate, split between three other articles. One features Serena Williams vs Nadia Podoroska, the second highlights Ashleigh Barty vs Yaroslava Shvedova, and the third features Simona Halep vs Angelique Kerber.

WTA Rome Day 3 Predictions

Amanda Anisimova vs Elina Svitolina

Head-to-head: 1-1

Both players come to Rome looking to redeem themselves after each suffering a disappointing loss in Madrid. Anisimova bageled Maria Sakkari in the first set but couldn’t hold on to win, while Svitolina had a disappointing loss in a third set tiebreak to Jil Teichmann, who is ranked much lower. Anisimova has just one match win this year on the clay, and the former French Open semifinalist has struggled to regain her form after several injuries. Svitolina has been one of the top players on tour and had a great week on clay in Stuttgart where she topped Angelique Kerber and Petra Kvitova. Anisimova is an incredibly talented player and beat Svitolina in straight sets in their most recent meeting last year, but the 19-year-old has struggled to regain her footing on tour. The American has a chance of giving Svitolina problems, but Svitolina has been excellent this season and will play a more consistent match and win the big points she needs to.
Prediction: Svitolina in 2

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Petra Kvitova vs Vera Zvonareva

Head-to-head: 3-3

Though the two veterans have played six times, the most recent match was in 2011 so it feels like a first meeting between the two. Zvonareva has played well on clay, making it through two rounds of qualifying the last two weeks. But she lost convincingly against eventual Madrid finalist Aryna Sabalenka last week, and her ranking sits outside the Top 100. Kvitova has reached the quarterfinals in her last two events on clay, only losing to top players Ashleigh Barty and Svitolina. Clay is not Kvitova’s best surface, but her big serve will win her enough games to give her plenty of openings to take the match. Zvonareva is now 36 and not the same player she once was, and Kvitova’s form is good enough she should have no problem dispatching the Russian.
Prediction: Kvitova in 2

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Sofia Kenin vs Barbora Krejcikova

Head-to-head: first meeting

In the first meeting between the two, Kenin will look to get back on track on the clay after losing her first two matches on the surface this year. Krejcikova has fared better on the surface with a 2-2 record this year, though she has yet to play a top-40 player in any of those matches. Kenin’s recent struggles do not tell the full story, as the American made her second grand slam final at last year’s French Open. The slower courts in Rome does not seem to favor Kenin, but they will be more similar to the conditions at Roland Garros last year which may just be the comfort that she needs. Krejcikova will bring the fight to Kenin and not make it easy, but she has not quite reached the level that Kenin is at and the American will pull out a hard-fought match.
Prediction: Kenin in 3

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Naomi Osaka vs Jessica Pegula

Head-to-head: 1-0 Osaka

Pegula has been one of the pleasant surprises on the WTA Tour this year, reaching the Australian Open quarterfinals and the semifinals in Doha. She faces off against Naomi Osaka who has been one of, if not the most dominant players on the WTA Tour. Osaka’s struggles outside of hard court are well-known, and she has played just two matches on clay this year, winning one and losing to Karolina Muchova last week in Madrid. Pegula is also best on hard, and her recent clay form is hard to analyze, going 1-2 in her last three on the surface but both those losses were to Sabalenka who has been hard for anyone to beat recently. However, the American has never won a title on clay even at the ITF level and before 2021 she had never won a match at either Madrid or Rome. This match could go either way. Neither player is comfortable on clay, but Osaka is the better player and will have the edge to pull it out.
Prediction: Osaka in 3

Main Photo from Getty.

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