With the incomparable Serena Williams out indefinitely because of her now, widely publicized pregnancy, the field appears wide open to win the upcoming 2017 Italian Open Masters 1000.
Will a former grand slam champion like Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, Angelique Kerber or Svetlana Kuznetsova rise up to win this year’s Italian Open or will one of the younger grand slam hopefuls like Eugenie Bouchard step up to fill the massive void left by Williams’ departure?
While the tennis betting odds for this big lead-up event to the French Open are still not released at the time of this writing, let’s take a look at the major contenders to bag the WTA portion of the 2017 Italian Open.
Here’s A Closer Look At The 2017 WTA Italian Open Preview
Event: ATP – Internazionali BNL d’Italia
Date: Sunday, May 14th – Sunday, May 21st, 2017
Location: Foro Italico, Rome, Italy
It was just a couple of years ago that Eugenie Bouchard had the look of a future grand slam champion and potential No. 1 player in the world. After struggling for much of the past two seasons, Bouchard is starting to look like a dominant player again. After smacking Maria Sharapova around in the Round of 32 at Monte Carlo, Bouchard pounded Angelique Kerber even wore in the Round of 16 and will face Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarters.
And speaking of ‘Kuzy’ she’s playing fantastic tennis this season and is undoubtedly a threat to win both, Monte Carlo and the Italian Open.
Sharapova is back on tour following her PED suspension and she’ll have a shot to make a deep run at the Italian Open after winning three times in 2011, 2012 and 2015. However, I must say that the polarizing Sharapova will surely face more ‘fight’ from every opponent she plays moving forward seeing a how many of the players on the WTA Tour despise her and believe she got off far too light of a slap on the wrist after getting caught cheating.
Kerber has fund out the hard way, that, uneasy rests the head that wears the crown after becoming the No. 1 player in the world last season. Not only has Kerber yet to win a title this season, she’s only reached one final.
I’ve been waiting for Halep to make the lam breakthrough for the lat 18 months and I believe she still can and eventually will seeing as how she’s still just 25-years-old. Halep reached the semis at Stuttgart and is looking good right now in Monte Carlo as she awaits her semifinal match.
Muguruza won the French Open in 2015, so she clearly knows how to play on clay. However, the world No. 5 has been mediocre at best this season and got smacked around in her 6-1, 6-3 first round loss to Timea Bacsinszky at Monte Carlo.
You might now know who the 27-year-old Sevastova is, but the world No. 22 I definitely dangerous after coming back on tour following some debilitating injuries a couple of year ago. Sevastova reached the semis at Dubai and beat Samantha Stosur and Johanna Konta at Stuttgart en route to an appearance in the quarterfinals.
Speaking of dangerous players, world No. 17 Kristina Mladenovic won at St. Petersburg earlier this year and made the finals at Acapulco. The sweet-swinging lefty also reached the final at Indian Wells and Stuttgart, where she beat Kerber, Carla Suarez Navarro and Maria Sharapova just over a week ago.
Cibulkova hasn’t played since Miami and she likely won’t be in the field for the Italian Open but any WTA tournament that she’s not in just isn’t much fun to watch. Not only is Cibulkova one of the finest player in the world today, but her supermodel looks certainly don’t hurt either.
Carla Suarez Navarro