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WTA Rome Day 1 Predictions Including Jasmine Paolini vs Xinyu Wang

asmine Paolini BNP Paribas Open-Day 6

From one two-week WTA 1000 to another, we go from Madrid to Rome to start the whole process all over again. Though it’s another clay-court event, the conditions will be different than Stuttgart and Madrid, two faster events that kicked off the WTA clay season. We’ve tried to predict how some of the best players will fare with the transition on the first day of the tournament. We also predict the rest of the day’s matches in two other articles. One features Aliaksandra Sasnovich vs Leylah Fernandez and the second features Kaia Kanepi vs Marketa Vondrousova. Who do you think will come out on top?

WTA Rome Day 1 Predictions

Mayar Sherif vs Anna Blinkova

Head-to-head: Sherif 1-0 Blinkova

Mertens, Garcia, Kalinina and Giorgi. Those are the players Mayar Sherif beat last week in Madrid on her favorite surface before taking a set off of eventual champion Aryna Sabalenka. Having won at Parma last year, she’s now won 10 of her last 12 tour-level matches on red dirt.

Anna Blinkova will absolutely have her hands full here. She had that phenomenal run at the start of the year in Hobart in conditions that far better suited her game but she will struggle against the weight of Sherif’s ball in Rome.
Prediction: Sherif in 2

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Alycia Parks vs Anett Kontaveit

Head-to-head: First meeting

Confidence took Anett Kontaveit to the cusp of the pinnacle of the game. She earned #2 in the world by hitting freely in the steady, quick conditions of the indoor tournaments in the latter half of 2021. Conversely though, lack of confidence is a killer for the Estonian. She’s lost a lot of matches recently and will be feeling exposed against any top 100 opponent.

Though Alycia Parks is a little easier to deal with on this surface than others, it’s still not looking likely the current world #82(!) gets the win here. There may be some fight but the peak periods will be too few and far between.
Prediction: Parks in 3

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Sofia Kenin vs Cristina Bucsa

Head-to-head: First meeting

There have been wins and close losses for Sofia Kenin. The former Grand Slam champ’s level is still there but it comes and goes, leaving her stuck outside of the top 100 in the world. Let’s not forget just how comfortable she can be returning early on this surface even if her form is a little patchy.

For all her clay-court pedigree, Cristina Bucsa could be pegged back here if Kenin keeps up her level. It might be gritty but we’re backing the American.
Prediction: Kenin in 3

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Jasmine Paolini vs Wang Xinyu

Head-to-head: First meeting

It’s been a while since Jasmine Paolini played on clay this slow. She’ll have the crowd behind her and she will absolutely be in her element. Wang Xinyu might be a player capable of some upsets with her towering figure but not here, in her opponent’s backyard, in conditions that don’t nearly suit her game as well as the Italian’s.
Prediction: Paolini in 3

Main Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports


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