No. 1 Women’s Seed Swiatek Rolling Along
If the results at the Italian Open are any indication, buckle up for the upcoming French Open as those making tennis predictions could have their work cut out for them as the results for the final major tuneup for the next Grand Slam event start rolling in.
Seeds began tumbling early on with No. 2 seeds Arnya Sabalenka and Carlos Alcaraz exiting the women’s and men’s field early on. Another big name fell when top-seeded Novak Djokovic lost in the quarterfinals and that drew plenty of attention in the tennis news cycle.
Only two of the top 10 seeds advanced to the quarterfinals on the women’s side with top-seeded Iga Swiatek meeting No. 7 seed Elena Rybakina in the quarterfinals. That made for plenty of surprises when it comes to the tennis picks.
Swiatek (-150) is listed by the French Open Men odds the overwhelming favorite in the French Open outrights followed by Sabalenka at +600 and Elena Rybakina (+1300). Barbora Krejcikova, who lost in the Round of 32 in Rome, is next at +1400 while Ons Jabeur and Paola Badosa who both come in at +1600.
Alcaraz (+125) and Djokovic (+175) have the best odds to win the French Open men’s singles title.
There are a pair of 250 events on the men’s side coming up, one in Geneva, Switzerland and the other in Lyon, France. On the women’s side, there are events in Strasbourg, France and Rabat, Morocco.
Can Anybody Stop Swiatek?
Swiatek looks ready for Roland Garros as she has dropped nine games in her first three matches.
Three of the seeded players in Swiatek’s quarter in Rome failed to win their opening match.
No. 9 seed Maria Sakkari never got a chance to square off with Rybakina after being upset by Marketa Vondrousova.
Other than Swiatek’s methodical march through the bracket, the other story dominating the tennis news in Rome was the resurgence of Paula Badosa.
Badosa peaked at No. 2 in the WTA rankings in 2022 but entered the Italian Open unranked.
After needing three sets to dispatch of qualifier Anna-Lena Friedsam in the first round, she had no trouble eliminating seeded players Ons Jabeur and Marta Kostyuk.
Badosa’s best showing in a Grand Slam singles event was a run to the French Open quarterfinals in 2021. Could she be setting herself up for another deep run at Roland Garros? The French Open betting lines are trending in the right direction for Badosa.
No. 11 seed Veronika Kudermetova and 30th-seeded Anhelina Kalinina reached the semifinals in the bottom half of the bracket. It took more than 3½ hours for Kalinina to outlast No. 12 seed Beatriz Haddad Maia in the quarterfinals.
Pure Relief 😮💨@angie_kalinina beats Haddad Maia 6-7(2), 7-6(6), 6-3 in the longest match of the season, reaching her first WTA 1000 semifinal in Rome!#IBI23 pic.twitter.com/0Wa42S6VJ6
— wta (@WTA) May 16, 2023
Americans Take a Tumble
Four of the 12 American women in the main draw at the Italian Open were seeded. However, none of them made it through to the quarterfinals.
No. 3 seed Jessica Pegula lost to fellow American Taylor Townsend in the second round with Townsend falling to Xiyu Wang taking out Townsend in the next match.
No. 6 seed Coco Gauff lost a tough three-set match to Marie Bouzkova. No. 19 seed Madison Keys was eliminated by Anhelina Kalinina in three sets in the fourth round.
Bernada Pera was the only seeded American in the top half of the bracket. She never got to match up with Swiatek after losing to Lesia Tsurenko in her first match.
Sloane Stephens won one match with Shelby Rogers falling in her opening match.
Dream Final Dashed
The Italian Open was viewed as an ideal spot for a rare matchup between tournament favorites Djokovic and Alcaraz. That is a match that would have drawn plenty of attention from those taking part in French Open live betting.
Alcaraz, the No. 2 seed, suffered a stunning loss to qualifier Fabian Marozsan in the third round while No. 7 seed Holger Rune topped No. 1 seed Djokovic 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 in the quarterfinals. That means that for the first time since 2004, the final won’t feature either Djokovic or Rafael Nadal.
The streak is over. 😲
For the first time since 2004, neither Novak Djokovic nor Rafael Nadal will be in the @InteBNLdItalia final.#IBI23 pic.twitter.com/ur2O2S1pQ4
— ATP Tour (@atptour) May 17, 2023
No. 6 seed Andrey Rublev, No. 8 Jannik Sinner, No. 9 seeded Taylor Fritz, 10th-seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime all failed to reach the quarterfinals.
Still, seven of the eight quarterfinalists were seeded so it wasn’t all about the upsets on the men’s side.
Qualifier Shakes Things Up
The lone unseeded player in the quarterfinals was Yannick Hanfmann and he needed to win two challenging qualifying matchups just to reach the main draw.
Hanfmann dropped five games to upset Fritz in the second and added another top-10 win by outlasting Rublev in three sets. That set up a showdown with Daniil Medvedev, the highest remaining seed in the men’s singles draw.
There were 12 seeded players who lost their first match on the men’s side.
There were five top-10 seeds who reached the quarterfinals with No. 3 Medvedev joined by No. 4 Casper Ruud, No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas, Rune and Djokovic.
All Eyes on Nadal
Even when he doesn’t enter the tournament, 10-time men’s singles champion Nadal is generating plenty of buzz.
Nadal hasn’t played since falling in three sets in the Round of 64 at the Australian Open to an American Mackenzie McDonald. It was Nadal’s first loss to a player outside the top 50 in the ATP rankings since 2019.
Questions remain about Nadal’s opportunity to pursue a 15th French Open singles title. The French Open odds have Nadal at +400 in the French Open outrights.
Those questions should be answered sooner rather than later with the French Open quickly approaching.