Simona Halep vs. Dayana Yastremska, Rome R3 Preview

Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Rome R3 preview + prediction
?? (1) Simona Halep vs. ?? Dayana Yastremska

Simona Halep continues her 2020 Internazionali BNL d’Italia campaign on Friday with a potentially dangerous third round clash against Dayana Yastremska. This will be the first career meeting between the pair, a match-up of contrasting styles, can the flashy Ukrainian get the better of the 2-time runner-up in Rome?

Simona Halep is on a 10-match winning streak. The world number 2 won the premier-level title in Dubai just before the tour shutdown and won the Prague Open in her return to action last month. The reigning Wimbledon champion made a solid start in Rome with a 6-3 6-4 win over Jasmine Paolini having received a bye in the opening round. Halep is the top seed and favourite to go on to win the title in Rome this week.

Halep has surprisingly never won the Internazionali BNL d’Italia and will be keen to change that over the coming days. Halep twice reached the championship match in Rome, in 2017 and 2018, on both occasions she was defeated by Elina Svitolina. Halep has also reached the semi-finals in Rome on a couple of other occasions, in 2013 and 2015.

Dayana Yastremska has come through a pair of roller-coaster matches to reach the third round in Rome. A 7-5 6-7 6-4 win over Camila Giorgi was followed by a 4-6 7-6 6-4 win over Amanda Anisimova. Yastremska has already been involved 6 tight three 3 matches in her 4 tournaments since the tour restart.

I expect Halep to come through this one quite comfortably. Yastremska is dangerous but far too inconsistent to have much of a hope against Halep on a clay court. Yastremska’s level has swung wildly in recent times, from match-to-match and within matches, a far more consistent effort is required against Halep. The Romanian is one a select few players on the WTA tour that consistently achieves great results on clay. Expect the far superior consistency, discipline and stamina of Halep to see her through this one.

Prediction: Simona Halep to defeat Dayana Yastremska in 2 sets

Serena Williams vs. Venus Williams, Rome R2 Preview

#IBI19 Rome R2 Preview
?? (10) Serena Williams vs. ?? (WC) Venus Williams

Serena Williams and Venus Williams will go head-to-head for the 31st time when they do battle at the second round stage of the Internazionali bnl d’Italia, Rome. Serena had dominated this match-up in recent times having won 9 of the last 11 meetings between the pair, however this will be their first meeting on clay in over 6 years and their first on red clay in over 14 years, so it will be interesting to see how the match pans out.

Venus Williams of the United States in action during her first-round match at the 2019 Internazionali BNL d’Italia WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Serena Williams made her much anticipated return to action with a fairly comfortable straight set win over Rebecca Peterson in Rome. Williams had not played since a 3 set opening round win over Rebecca Peterson in Miami. The tennis gods drew the pair together again in Rome and this time Williams was far too strong, winning 6-4 6-2. Importantly, the Williams serve was strong, she served 10 aces and won 82% of her first service points.

Venus Williams was also in action for the first time since Miami on Monday in Rome. Venus was made to work extremely hard to claim a gruelling upset victory over Elise Mertens in over 3 hours of play. Williams squandered 8 match points and saw a 5-1 third set lead evaporate before finally clinching a 7-5 3-6 7-6 victory over the Belgian, one of the biggest wins for Venus in recent times.

Serena holds an 18-12 head-to-head record over Venus. Serena thrashed Venus 6-1 6-2 at the US Open last year in their most recent match. Interestingly their second round meeting in Rome will be their first match-up on red clay since Roland Garros in 2002, so this will be a rare sight in one of the tour’s most prominent match-ups.

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Kiki Bertens vs. Amanda Anisimova, Rome R2 Preview

#IBI19 Rome R2 Preview
?? (6) Kiki Bertens vs. ?? (LL) Amanda Anisimova

Kiki Bertens begins her Rome campaign with a second round clash against Amanda Anisimova. Bertens arrives in Rome on a high having won the title in Madrid last week and is looming as one of the favourites heading into the second Grand Slam of the year. Bertens will be keen to continue her strong form in Rome and enters this match as a clear favourite.

Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands in action during her semi-final match at the 2019 Mutua Madrid Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament on route to winning the title. 

Kiki Bertens is the form player on tour at the moment having won the biggest title of her career at the Mutua Madrid Open last week which meant she climbed to a career high ranking of number 4 in the world. Bertens won the title in Madrid in style as she went through the tournament without dropping a set, the first player to ever achieve that feat. Bertens beat quality players such as Petra Kvitova, Sloane Stephens and Simona Halep on route to the title. Clay has always been Bertens’ best surface and suddenly she is looming as a genuine contender to win Roland Garros in a few weeks’ time, she could perhaps even be the favourite.

Unlike Bertens, clay is not a surface Anisimova is comfortable on. Anisimova did win her first career title on the red dirt in Bogota last month but I’m not convinced by her game on this surface. Anisimova suffered a shock loss in the opening round of qualifying in Madrid to Marta Kostyuk and stumbled at the final qualifying stage in Rome to Kristina Mladenovic but received a main draw wild card. Anisimova went on to defeat Elisabetta Cocciaretto 6-3 6-3 in the opening round to set up a clash with Bertens.

This will be the first career meeting between Bertens and Anisimova.

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Simona Halep vs Elina Svitolina, Rome Final Preview

Internazionali BNL d’Italia, ??? Rome Final Preview
(6) ?? Simona Halep vs (8) ?? Elina Svitolina

Saturday’s Internazionali BNL d’Italia final promises to be a an epic battle as an in-form Simona Halep comes up against a dogged Elina Svitolina at the Foro Italico. Simona Halep will be looking to capture the perfect momentum boost heading into Roland Garros by winning the Madrid/Rome double but it won’t be easy for the Romanian as Elina Svitolina has been one of the most consistent players on tour all year. The Ukrainian heads into Saturday’s final looking for her fourth and biggest title of the year.

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Garbine Muguruza vs Elina Svitolina, Rome SF Preview

Internationali BNL d’Italia, Rome SF Preview
SF #2: (3) ?? Garbine Muguruza vs (8) ?? Elina Svitolina

Familiar foes, Garbine Muguruza and Elina Svitolina will renew hostilities on Saturday when they meet in the second semi-final of the day at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. Muguruza and Svitolina both claimed impressive quarter-final victories to move to the final four, Muguruza came past Venus Williams in three sets whilst Svitolina upset the second seeded Karolina Pliskova in straight sets to set up an intriguing semi-final showdown.

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Simona Halep vs Kiki Bertens, Rome SF Preview

Internazionali BNL d’Italia, ?? Rome SF Preview
SF #1: (6) ?? Simona Halep vs (15) ?? Kiki Bertens

Saturday’s first semi-final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia sees a red-hot Simona Halep take on the vastly improving Kiki Bertens. Simona Halep enters this semi-final clash on a 9-match winning streak having won the Mutua Madrid Open last week. The Romanian is now the favourite heading into Roland Garros and will look to build even more momentum by winning back-to-back titles.

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Garbine Muguruza vs Venus Williams, Rome QF Preview

Internazionali BNL d’Italia ?? QF Preview
(3) ?? Garbine Muguruza vs (9) ?? Venus Williams

Friday’s final quarter-final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia features an intriguing battle as the third seeded Garbine Muguruza comes up against a determined Venus Williams. All eyes are on Muguruza over the coming weeks, the reigning Roland Garros champion has an opportunity to cause more damage on the red dirt over the coming months, gaining confidence in Rome will be critical for those ambitions. Clay has always been the worst surface for Venus but she has generally played well in Rome and will fancy her chances of an upset here.

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Karolina Pliskova vs Elina Svitolina, Rome QF Preview

Internazionali BLN d’Italia ?? QF Preview
(2) ?? Karolina Pliskova vs (8) ?? Elina Svitolina

Karolina Pliskova and Elina Svitolina will renew hostilities on Friday when they meet at the quarter-final stage of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. The contrast in styles between these two always make for an interesting clash, surprisingly Svitolina is yet to score a win over Pliskova, the Czech holds a perfect 5-0 record over the Ukrainian. Svitolina will be confident that she can reserve that trend in their first clay court meeting since 2014.

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Karolina Pliskova vs Timea Bacsinszky, Rome R3 Preview

Internazionali BNL d’Italia ?? R3 Preview
(2) ?? Karolina Pliskova vs ?? Timea Bacsinszky

An fascinating third round clash between Karolina Pliskova and Timea Bacsinszky will end third round action on Thursday at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. Karolina Pliskova was the form player on tour during the first couple of months but as expected her form has dropped away as the clay court season is in full swing. Timea Bacsinszky has had a poor year but the Swiss woman always thrives during the clay court season and will see this third round clash as a big opportunity to gain a valuable victory over the world number 3.

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Elina Svitolina vs Mona Barthel, Rome R3 Preview

Internazionali BNL d’Italia ?? R3 Preview
(8) ?? Elina Svitolina vs (Q) ?? Mona Barthel

Mona Barthel enters her third round clash with Elina Svitolina in Rome on a 12-match winning streak. The German came through the qualifying draw to win the title in Prague a couple of weeks ago and has again successfully advanced through the qualifying draw in Rome. Barthel will face her biggest challenge of the last couple of weeks when she faces a determined Elina Svitolina for a place in the quarter-finals at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

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