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  • Friday'S Tennis Acca: Elena Rybakina To Impress As She Begins Rome Defence

Friday's tennis acca: Elena Rybakina to impress as she begins Rome defence

Planet Sport presents eight picks from the WTA 1000 Italian Open order of play for Friday 10 May at Rome's famous Foro Italico.

Elena Rybakina faces a potential rankings drop if she cannot defend her Italian Open title which will likely serve as a bit of extra motivation.

Rybakina was a semi-finalist in Madrid but appeared to run out of legs at the end of her run.

She is the kind of player who usually responds well after a disappointment.

Rybakina is among the players we have picked for victory at the Italian Open on Friday.


WTA Rome: Mayar Sherif vs Jasmine Paolini | Pick: Paolini

WTA Rome: Dayana Yastremska vs Laura Siegemund | Pick: Yastermska

WTA Rome: Danielle Rose Collins vs Anna Blinkova | Pick: Collins

WTA Rome: Irina Camelia Begu vs Elena Rybakina | Pick: Rybakina

WTA Rome: Lesia Tsurenko vs Anhelina Kalinina | Pick: Tsurenko

WTA Rome: Maria Sakkari vs Varvara Gracheva | Pick: Sakkari

WTA Rome: Ons Jabeur vs Sofia Kenin | Pick: Jabeur

WTA Rome: Victoria Azarenka vs Magda Linette | Pick: Azarenka


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WTA Rome: Mayar Sherif vs Jasmine Paolini

Jasmine Paolini will get a great reception as the Italian No 1 makes her bow against Mayar Sherif.

Sherif blasted past Petra Martic in the opening round to earn a date with the seeded home hope.

Sherif leads the head-to-head 1-0 but that meeting came at WTA 125 level.

Paolini is on top of the world at the moment with a career-high ranking and a chance to be a threat in her biggest home event.


WTA Rome: Dayana Yastremska vs Laura Siegemund

Dayana Yastremska has beaten Laura Siegemund twice in two meetings with those wins coming in 2023 and 2019.

Yastremska is also in some of the best form of her career right now while the same cannot be said for her opponent.

Siegemund came through qualifying to reach the main draw before battling through a three-setter in the opening round of the main draw.

That time on the court edge might given her an advantage but she will need to start sharply.


WTA Rome: Danielle Rose Collins vs Anna Blinkova

Danielle Collins may be the seeded player but Anna Blinkova owns a win over the American from their only prior meeting.

Blinkova achieved that win nearly six years ago but also has the advantage of playing on clay.

Collins looked good in Madrid before her path crossed Aryna Sabalenka.

Blinkova has only won one match on clay this season while Collins is 8-1 on the surface although that includes her title run on the green clay in Charleston.


WTA Rome: Irina Camelia Begu vs Elena Rybakina

Elena Rybakina will be out to bounce back from a semi-final loss in Madrid and avenge a previous loss to Irina Camelia Begu.

Begu's win came in the now-suspended Kremlin Cup in Moscow in 2017 and they have not met since.

Rybakina struggled with her movement in Madrid but has no qualms about entering the Italian Open.

Begu had a tough first-round battle and will have to play above herself to win this one.


WTA Rome: Lesia Tsurenko vs Anhelina Kalinina

Ukrainian compatriots Lesia Tsurenko and Anhelina Kalinina will meet in the round of 64 at the Italian Open.

This will be the second meeting between the players with Tsurenko winning the first clash.

Tsurenko had to get through a first-round clash to set this match against her seeded countrywoman.

Kalinina hasn't played since her first up loss in Madrid and will be on the back foot as a result.


WTA Rome: Maria Sakkari vs Varvara Gracheva

Maria Sakkari holds a 1-0 head-to-head lead over Varvara Gracheva thanks to a win in Linz last season.

The setup of these WTA 1000 events creates an environment where the first-round bye can count against seeded players.

Sakkari will play her first WTA Tour match this month after losing in Madrid on 29 April.

Gracheva meanwhile has played three matches on the Foro Italico clay although the qualifying courts can play differently from the main stadium.


WTA Rome: Ons Jabeur vs Sofia Kenin

Ons Jabeur is another seed who could be ripe for an upset but Sofia Kenin will have to be at her best.

Kenin leads the head-to-head between the players 5-2 but they haven't played each other since 2021.

Jabeur has played her best tennis in the intervening period and will be keen to do well in Rome.

Jabeur seemed to be finding her feet in Madrid before she let a lead slip against Madison Keys, and she will be fired up.


WTA Rome: Victoria Azarenka vs Magda Linette

Victoria Azarenka and Magda Linette have had a back-and-forth rivalry across five matches.

Azarenka has won three of those matches with all three of her wins coming in WTA 1000 events.

Linette won two of their three matches in 2023 including their last meeting in Beijing.

The Pole has struggled on clay in the past and that should suit Azarenka.

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