We enter the first Sunday in Rome with a loaded slate of high-level matches at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia 1000 event. The clay in the capital of Italy has been playing slow, leading to grueling three+ hour matches of back-and-forth tennis. Day 6 features some terrific matchups, including No. 1 seed Iga Swiatek taking on veteran Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko. We at LWOT have the preview and prediction for that match and all other happenings around the grounds of Rome. But who will advance?
WTA Rome Day 6 Predictions
Maria Sakkari vs Marketa Vondrousova
Head-to-Head: first meeting
No. 9 seed Maria Sakkari has had a strong start to the clay season. She reached the semifinals in Madrid and holds a 5-1 record on the surface this year. She will take on world No. 70 Marketa Vondrousova in Round 3 in Rome. Vondrousova has been on an absolute heater this year. Since March, the 23-year-old is 13-3 and comes into this match against Sakkari with great confidence. She blasted Bianca Andreescu 6-0 6-1 on Friday and has taken a liking to the slow clay courts. This match should go the distance. Ultimately, I believe Sakkari has the firepower to find the finish line.
Prediction: Sakkari in 3
Anna Kalinskaya vs Elena Rybakina
Head-to-Head: Kalinskaya 2-1 Rybakina
No. 7 seed Elena Rybakina will take on Anna Kalinskaya in the third round in Rome. These two have had an incredible pair of three-set encounters this year, including a 7-5 4-6 6-2 win for Kalinskaya last week in Madrid. Rybakina has proven to be one of the best players in the world but is still looking to find her footing on the clay. The slow courts of Rome certainly do not play to her strengths. Kalinskaya is 7-2 on the clay this season and is playing with a lot of confidence. This should be a very back-and-forth match, but ultimately I favor the serve of Ryabkina to lead her to victory.
Prediction: Rybakina in 3
Daria Kasatkina vs Julia Grabher
Head-to-Head: first meeting
Daria Kasatkina has had a very up-and-down season, splitting the 22 WTA matches she has played in. The Russian has always been a strong clay-court player and is looking for a strong run in Rome ahead of the 2023 French Open. She squares off against Julia Grabher for the first time. Grabher, world No. 89, took two hours and 51 minutes to beat Jil Teichmann on Friday. Grabher has shown a proclivity to the slow clay courts, but I do not believe she has the consistency to hang in this match against Kasatkina.
Prediction: Kasatkina in 2
Jelena Ostapenko vs Barbora Krejcikova
Head-to-Head: Ostapenko 3-2 Krejcikova
No. 10 seed Barbora Krejcikova will take on No. 20 seed Jelena Ostapenko in what should be an incredible Round 3 match in Rome. Krejcikova has had a much more consistent season, holding a 20-9 record in 2023. The former world No. 2 has been very consistent this season and very rarely does not bring her A-game. Ostapenko has had some magical moments this year, including a run to the Australian Open quarterfinals. That said, the consistency has not been there. I do not see her finding success against a player like Krejcikova. The slow courts of Rome will limit Ostapenko’s power and help the Czech find a path to victory.
Prediction: Krejcikova in 2
Main Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports