The action continues on Day 4 at the WTA 1000 in Rome, the key tournament of the clay season leading up to Roland Garros. Rome is used as the best indicator of who can be a threat at the second slam of the year and everyone wants to have that momentum going in. As always, we here at LWOT will preview and predict every match.
WTA Rome Day 4 Predictions
Jil Teichmann vs Elena Rybakina
Head-to-head: Teichmann 1-0 Rybakina
Teichmann’s career record on clay is an odd one. The Swiss had a losing record on the surface in 2020 and 2021 with some less-than-stellar losses while also going 25-6 on clay in 2019, when she won her only two WTA titles in Prague and Palermo. Teichmann is coming off a Madrid semifinal though and despite failing to pass the first round in Rome in two previous attempts, she looked good in wins against Jasmine Paolini and Karolina Pliskova. Everyone remembers Rybakina’s best run on clay, beating Serena Williams en route to a Roland Garros quarterfinal. The Kazakh also won Bucharest in 2019 and reached the Strasbourg final in 2020. The pressure is on now for Rybakina as she will have to defend those Roland Garros points and despite the fact that her results this clay season have not been amazing, her losses on red clay were Paula Badosa in Stuttgart and Teichmann in Madrid. I have a feeling that this match will go the other way compared to their previous meeting last week even though Rybakina won only four games in that match, as the Rome conditions are very different.
Prediction: Rybakina in 3
Ons Jabeur vs Yulia Putintseva
Head-to-head: Jabeur 2-0 Putintseva
The Madrid champion has been unstoppable this clay season, with a 14-2 record and Jabeur’s biggest title of her career. The Tunisian also reached the Charleston final and Stuttgart quarterfinals, propelling her to No. 7 in the rankings. Putintseva, a former Rome quarterfinalist, qualified for the event this year after a tough match against Ana Konjuh. The Kazakh then went on to win out in a battle against Kaja Juvan and come back from a set down to upset Garbine Muguruza. Putintseva can be tricky but it doesn’t seem to be a particularly tough match-up for Jabeur, winning both of their previous meetings. The straight-set win at last year’s French Open is especially indicative. This combined with Jabeur’s form makes her a big favorite.
Prediction: Jabeur in 2
Coco Gauff vs Maria Sakkari
Head-to-head: Sakkari 3-1 Gauff
Gauff, last year’s semifinalist, has had a mixed season so far with a 14-9 record. It is not bad by any means but the 18-year-old will have to pick up her form if she wants to retain her ranking, especially considering her clay season last year. Gauff went 16-4 and, outside of her Rome result, won her second WTA title in Parma and reached the Roland Garros quarterfinals. Sakkari’s season has also been interesting with a hard-court record of 12-5, including Indian Wells and St. Petersburg finals, which has been followed up by a 2-2 clay season. The head-to-head also isn’t much help with Sakkari leading overall but Gauff winning their only previous clay meeting from Rome last year. Probably the toughest match-up to predict in this lineup, I am going to flip a coin and go with Gauff.
Prediction: Gauff in 3
Iga Swiatek vs Victoria Azarenka
Head-to-head: Swiatek 1-1 Azarenka
World No. 1 Iga Swiatek is going into Rome as a major favorite. The Pole has been unstoppable this year, winning the Sunshine Double, Doha, and Stuttgart already with a 33-3 record and an undefeated 5-0 on clay. Swiatek is also a defending champion in Rome, winning here in style last year when she double bageled Karolina Pliskova. Azarenka is not a bad opponent and has good memories from Rome, reaching the quarterfinals in her last two appearances as well as a final from 2013. This year has not been ideal but the former World No. 1 is currently 4-1 on clay this year with her only loss coming against a resurgent Amanda Anisimova. Despite that, I cannot see Azarenka making this a close match. Her previous win over Swiatek came at the 2020 US Open and it is clear just how much the 20-year-old has grown since.
Prediction: Swiatek in 2
Main Photo from Getty.