The second day of main draw WTA play in Rome is a treat. Sara Errani vs Anastasia Pavyluchenkova isn’t really a matchup we were expecting to see anymore, but it definitely is an exciting throwback. The Russian has generally had control over that rivalry in the past, including on clay. Does that still hold up in the year 2023? We split the day’s 20 matches between five articles–that means four articles after this one. The other articles feature Elina Svitolina vs Lesia Tsurenko, Paula Badosa vs Anna-Lena Friedsam, Sloane Stephens vs Nadia Podoroska, and Lauren Davis vs Elisabetta Cocciaretto. What do you think will happen in the rest of they day’s matches?
WTA Rome Day 2 Predictions
Yulia Putintseva vs Viktoriya Tomova
Head-to-head: First meeting
Yulia Putintseva hasn’t been in her top form this year, but it still takes a certain degree of patience and quality to hit through her. Viktoriya Tomova will have some momentum for this match, having played through the qualifying with relative ease. The Bulgarian has the game to keep this close and should have a nice shot at the slight upset. She’s been doing well this clay season, winning a pretty stacked ITF in Zaragoza recently.
Prediction: Tomova in 3
Nuria Brancaccio vs Julia Grabher
Head-to-head: Grabher 1-0
Nuria Brancaccio only had a qualifying wildcard for Rome the past couple of years and was rather soundly taken out on both occasions. This time she’s in the main draw and will get another shot at Julia Grabher, who managed to take her out in the final at Bari last year. Can it be more complicated here? Maybe, as the Austrian is kinda struggling in 2023 with just a 9-17 win/loss record. However, she’s also facing much tougher opposition than Brancaccio on an everyday basis.
Prediction: Grabher in 3
Katie Volynets vs Sorana Cirstea
Head-to-head: First meeting
Sorana Cirstea’s return to form has been one of the most exciting stories of the season with the huge results during the Sunshine Double. Since then, she was unlucky to run into Aryna Sabalenka (yet again) in the second round at Madrid, but followed it up with a WTA 125K title in Reus last week. The Romanian was always a criminally underrated ball-striker and if she keeps playing like this, Katie Volynets will struggle to stay competitive.
Prediction: Cirstea in 2
Sara Errani vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Head-to-head: Pavlyuchenkova 5-2
This rivalry started eleven years ago with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beating Sara Errani in a Billie Jean King Cup match. She also leads the clay head-to-head, having defeated her opponent at Madrid and Rabat. How will the dynamics look after all these years? Pavlyuchenkova’s power has always bothered Errani, so maybe this is a nice opportunity for the Russian to speed up her injury comeback?
Prediction: Pavlyuchenkova in 3
Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports