The remainder of the first round matchups will be completed on Tuesday, Day 2 at the WTA 1000 level Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. Another busy day is on the schedule across the historic grounds of the Foro Italico. Let’s take a closer look at some of Tuesday’s matchups, including an interesting clash between the unpredictable Sloane Stephens and an in-form Ekaterina Alexandrova. Who will advance to the second round?
WTA Rome Day 2 Predictions
Tereza Martincova vs Amanda Anisimova
H2H: Anisimova 2-0.
Amanda Anisimova has made a strong start to the clay court swing. The former Roland Garros semifinalist has reminded the tour of her threat on the dirt with a run to the semifinals in Charleston and a quarterfinal showing in Madrid. Conversely, Tereza Martincova is yet to win a main draw match on the clay this season but did manage to navigate her way through qualifying in Rome. An Anisimova victory is the obvious choice here, the American is in far better form and is far more talented.
Prediction: Anisimova in 2
Ludmilla Samsonova vs Jessica Pegula
It’s a quick turnaround for Jessica Pegula. The American gets a couple of days rest after her career best run to the final in Madrid. It will be interesting to see if Pegula can carry her Madrid form into Rome, it won’t be easy with little time to adjust to the vastly different conditions and with fatigue potentially setting in. First up for Pegula is a familiar opponent in the form of Ludmilla Samsonova. It was Samsonova who emerged victorious in the most recent meeting between the pair, a 6-4 3-6 6-3 victory at Wimbledon last year. Samsonova was red-hot heading into that match on a favourable surface for her, the script is flipped heading into this match, and I expect the result to flip too.
Prediction: Pegula in 2
Shelby Rogers vs Alison Riske
Surprisingly, this will be the first clash between Shelby Rogers and Alison Riske in almost a decade. Both players will head into this match keen for victory, having failed to gain any momentum on the clay over the last few weeks. Rogers is better known for her ability on the red clay thanks to her heavier game and should head into this clash as the slight favourite. It’s hard to pick either player with much confidence at the moment, especially in an even matchup such as this one. I’ll give Rogers the benefit of the doubt because of her greater record on the red clay.
Prediction: Rogers in 3
Sloane Stephens vs Ekaterina Alexandrova
H2H: Stephens 1-0.
Ekaterina Alexandrova arrives in Rome fresh from one of the best results of her career. Alexandrova advanced all the way to the semifinals in Madrid last week via the qualifying draw. An impressive run from the sometimes erratic 27-year-old. Alexandrova isn’t known for her clay court tennis, but she is showing what she’s capable of on the dirt having also reached the semifinals in Charleston last month.
Sloane Stephens is definitely capable on the clay. A former Roland Garros semifinalist, but the American has struggled of late. Stephens has amassed a disappointing 1-4 win/loss record since winning the title in Guadalajara, including back-to-back opening round losses to begin her clay court campaign. Stephens defeated Alexandrova 0-6 7-6 7-6 in their only previous meeting in Sydney in 2019.
Alexandrova is the obvious pick based on form, but form rarely holds up for too long on the women’s tour. I would generally like Stephens in this matchup on a clay court. The athleticism of Stephens makes Alexandrova’s task to hit through the court quite tough. Alexandrova is due for a let-down after her Madrid run and Stephens is due for a win. I expect Stephens to turn up motivated here and potentially make the most of a fatigued Alexandrova after her deep run in Madrid.
Prediction: Stephens in 3
Main Photo from Getty.