After the early rounds of Rome saw a stream of top seeds crashing out of the competition, some of the biggest WTA stars have since justified their seeding to progress through to quarterfinal day. And what a day it promises to be. Three of the tournament’s top four will be in action. Iga Swiatek looks to continue her historic winning run while Aryna Sabalenka looks to end a different streak: her four successive losses against Amanda Aminisova. Here’s how it’s all shaping up.
WTA Rome Quarterfinal Predictions
Ons Jabeur vs Maria Sakkari
This one has the potential to be the best match of the bunch. Ons Jabeur comes here in red-hot clay court form after winning her maiden Masters 1000 tournament in Madrid last week, and her distinct style, trademarked by superb angles and excellent dropshots, makes her one of the WTA’s most unique competitors. On the other side of the net, Sakkari’s recent form has been rusty since making the final at Indian Wells. She only has a 3-2 record on the clay court swing despite it being a preferred surface, but a good win over Coco Gauff could be a vital confidence boost for the Greek ahead of this one. Given Jabeur’s level right now, she may need it.
Prediction: Jabeur in 3
Jil Teichmann vs Daria Kasatkina
Head-to-head: 1-0 Kasatkina
Tennis hawks may remember the pair’s first meeting from the final of the 2021 Billie Jean King Cup, where Kasatkina bested the Swiss in straight sets to set up the Russian Tennis Federation’s win. Both have crafty all-court styles that make for an intriguing match-up, but the formbook suggests Teichmann likely has the advantage. She is enjoying something of a purple patch, following up a semi-final run in Madrid with a solid week in the Italian capital, headlined by a win over #6 seed Karolina Pliskova.
It’s been a hit-and-miss 2022 for Kasatkina so far. This run in Rome–and Thursday’s win over Paula Badosa in particular–marks the high point of her campaign. Problems with serve continue to dog her game however, which could be crucial here.
Prediction: Teichmann in 2
Aryna Sabalenka vs Amanda Anisimova
Head-to-head: 4-0 Anisimova
A match-up of two players who have got to know each other very well recently–this is their third meeting in less than two months. Anisimova has proven to be kryptonite for the #3 seed, as she improved her perfect record in their head-to-head with wins on clay in Charleston and then last week in Madrid. How has she done it? Simply put, she likes to deal with pace, and has used the power of the heavy-hitting Sabalenka against her, both on serve return and in the rally. The world #8 hasn’t developed a counter strategy yet, and the mental obstacle of playing an opponent who just seems to have your number is tough to overcome.
Prediction: Anisimova in 3
Iga Swiatek v Bianca Andreescu
Head-to-head: First meeting
The win streak has to end some time, doesn’t it? The already formidable Iga Swiatek has just gotten better and better since assuming the world #1 spot in March, and comes here on a 25-match unbeaten run. To put that in perspective, only the Williams sisters, Justin Henin and Victoria Arazenka have achieved a streak like that on the WTA Tour since 2000. It’s not just the win count that’s impressive, either; it’s how she finds a way to get the job done in every situation. The Pole has mostly crushed her opponents but when the going gets tough, she has been up to the challenge. Thursday’s straight sets win against Arazenka was a case in point, with Swiatek recovering from a 3-0 deficit to win 6-4 in an 80-minute opening set. Right now, it’s a brave person who picks against her.
Prediction: Swiatek in 2
Main Photo from Getty.