World No. 1 Iga Swiatek begins her quest for a three-peat in Rome on Day 4 of the WTA Italian Open. The Pole has a popcorn second-round match against former French Open finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Who do you think will advance into the third round?
WTA Rome Day 4 Predictions
Bernarda Pera vs Lesia Tsurenko
Head-to-head: first meeting
Bernarda Pera won 19 matches across all competitions on clay last season. She had the second-best winning streak on the surface by virtue of winning two straight titles in Budapest and Hamburg respectively. It provided a gateway into the world’s Top 50 and she’s now nailed on for a Top 32 seed at Roland Garros. Likewise, Lesia Tsurenko will be at the French Open without even needing to play qualifying after her resurgence on hard courts lifted her ranking into double digits. She’s had one match at the Foro Italico, defeating her compatriot Svitolina in straight sets on Wednesday. But it shouldn’t take the American lefty too much time to settle on her favorite surface.
Prediction: Pera in 2
Marta Kostyuk vs Claire Liu
Head-to-head: Kostyuk 1-1 Liu
Marta Kostyuk’s solitary win on clay this season came at the Billie Jean King Cup where she upset 2021 French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova. Two weeks ago, she failed to build on her one-set lead in Madrid where she lost to Camila Osorio in three sets. Still, she’s vastly superior in every facet to the American Claire Liu who struggled mightily for a set and a half in beating wild card Camilla Rosatello. Expect the Ukrainian to come through in two.
Prediction: Kostyuk in 2
Jil Teichmann vs Julia Grabher
Head-to-head: Grabher 1-0 Teichmann
Jil Teichmann sought some confidence at the Reus 125K event this past week and got a couple of wins under her belt, albeit against inferior opposition. Teichmann is defending quarterfinalist points this week after her mesmeric run in Rome last year. She toppled current Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina before an injury curse struck in the last eight against Kasatkina. She has a potentially dangerous opening match against the fast-footed Julia Grabher who picked up an opening-round win against Nuria Brancaccio. It won’t be as cushy as the odds suggest and this has the makings of a nerve-shredding three-setter.
Prediction: Teichmann in 3
Iga Swiatek vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Head-to-head: first meeting
Iga Swiatek has turned the Center Court in Rome into her own personal playpen, forging an 11-match win streak since succumbing to her only defeat in the tournament back in 2020 against Arantxa Rus. Pavyluchenkova fits the mold as the kind of player with an all-or-nothing approach in her style of play that frequently troubles the WTA’s best. Her opening-round win against Sara Errani was a massive confidence booster, but sadly for her, she is still in the early months of her comeback with half the season gone and is not in prime shape to spring the upset.
Prediction: Swiatek in 2
Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane USAToday Sports