The round of 16 of the 2010 Rome Internazionali BNL d’Italia women’s singles event has been completed. Today, all 4 quarter final matches will be played on Campo Centrale from 1pm local time in Rome. All of the matches promise to be very interesting in today’s schedule.
There are 4 seeds and 4 unseeded players still in contention for the Rome singles title. The quarter finals feature 2 sisters, 2 Serbians, 2 Russians and 2 left handers. As predicted in the previous post, even more of the top seeds were out-played yesterday with 7 correct predictions out of 8. Only No.14 seed Nadia Petrova went against the OCA predictions by fighting out a 3 set win.
The 1st match of the day is the battle of the left handers, Lucie Safarova and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez. The 23 year old Safarova improved to 2 wins to 1 loss against No.8 seed Agnieszka Radawanska 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-1) to record her best performance in Rome and to reach her 2nd career quarter final in a Premier FIVE level tournament. The other quarter final was at Toronto last year. The 1.77m Czech leads Sanchez Martinez 2-1 in their previous matches, including their most recent encounter, a 3 set win in Miami this year.
Martinez Sanchez is in career best form over the past 8 months and will achieve her career best ranking after Rome. The 27 year old Spaniard is the current World No.26 and kept her perfect record against World No.2 Caroline Wozniacki 6-4 6-2 to move to 3-0 against Wozniacki.
The 1.76m Martinez Sanchez made the quarter finals of Indian Wells this year and is even more at home on the clay. Both players will be hellbent on making the most of this opportunity to make their 1st semi final at such a prestigious tournament.
The 2nd match is between No.1 seed Serena Williams and the 23 year old Maria Kirilenko. Kirilenko has achieved her best result at Rome by making the quarter finals defeating No.5 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova on the way. The 1.73m Russian is 0-2 against the 28 year old World No.1 but has caught her after a 4 month injury break and Serena has not been anywhere near her best in Rome thus far.
Kirilenko has her best chance to upset Serena especially on the 2002 Rome singles champions least favoured court surface. Kirilenko defeated Dominika Cibulkova 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 whilst Serena beat Andrea Petkovic 6-2, 3-6, 6-0 in the round of 16.
The 3rd match of the day is the battle of the former World No.1’s, No.4 seed Venus Williams and No.7 seed Jelena Jankovic. The pair are tied with 5 wins each in their past encounters with Venus winning the past 2 matches in close 3 set matches that were both semi finals of the end of year championships in the past 2 years.
On clay the 25 year old Jankovic leads 3-1 and was in great form in her last match where she dismissed No.11 seed Yanina Wickmayer 6-2 6-0. The 1.77m Serbian won the Rome singles title back to back from 2007-08 and last year made the quarter finals. The 2008 US Open runner up moves very well and counter punches which is just the type of player that gives Venus headaches if she is not at her best.
The 29 year old Venus made the semi finals in Rome last year and won the title in 1999. The 1.85m American has won 7 Grand Slam singles titles (5 Wimbledon and 2 US Open’s) and is poised to take over the World No.2 ranking after playing consistently towards her best for the longest period of time for a number of years. Venus defeated No.16 seed Shahar Peer 6-3 6-4 in the round of 16 and would love to get through for a chance to play her sister in the semi finals.
The last quarter final which will be played in the night session at 8:30pm local time is between No.14 seed Nadia Petrova and Ana Ivanovic. The 22 year old Ivanovic has been on the slide (currently ranked No.58) and seems to be hitting her stride as pictured above.
The 2008 French Open champion has displayed the type of performance level that earned her the World No.1 ranking and the 2008 French Open singles title. The 1.86m Serbian has now achieved her best result in Rome after defeating No.9 seed Victoria Azarenka and No.6 seed Elena Dementieva 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) in the past 2 days.
The current World No.18 Russian Nadia Petrova is 4 wins each against Ivanovic and has won their last 2 matches both in 3 sets. The 27 year old had lost 5 times in the round of 16 in Rome and after defeating Alexandra Dulgheru 6-0, 3-6, 6-2 yesterday achieved her best result in Rome. The 1.78m former World No.3 achieves all of her best results on clay including her best Grand Slam singles results in 2003 and 2005 when she made the French Open semi finals on both occasions. This match could go either way and should live up to its match of the day billing by being decided in a final set.
The women’s singles quarter final draw is:
- (1) (WC) Serena Williams v. Maria Kirilenko (5) Kuznetsova
- (4) Venus Williams v. (7) Jelena Jankovic
- (6) Dementieva Ana Ivanovic v. (14) Nadia Petrova (3) Safina
(8) Radwanska Lucie Safarova v. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (2) Wozniacki
The players name that is bolded is OCA’s prediction of who will win each match. The players names who have a line drawn through them, are the seeded players who were expected to have reached the quarter finals, but have been eliminated from that spot in the draw.
Stay tuned to this tennis website for further information about Rome. Click this link for more details -> Rome 2010: Apr 24 – May 8.
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