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WTA Italian Open Tennis Picks, Predictions: Fade Jabeur, Back Teichmann in Rome (May 10)

WTA Italian Open Tennis Picks, Predictions: Fade Jabeur, Back Teichmann in Rome (May 10) article feature image
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Robert Prange/Getty. Pictured: Jil Teichmann hits a forehand at the Madrid Open.

It’s been an exciting start to the Italian Open in Rome, as players duke it out for a shot at the title.

I’ve found betting value on two of Tuesday’s matches, including one match featuring last week’s Madrid champion Ons Jabeur.

Read on for two plays to think about from Tuesday’s WTA action in Rome.

Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.

Jasmine Paolini (+192) vs.  Jil Teichmann (-240)

5 a.m. ET

Jasmine Paolini has not put together a string of good performances since Indian Wells. In Madrid, Paolini had an unfortunate draw, losing 6-7(9), 1-6 to Ons Jabeur in her first match.

Against Jabeur, Paolini struggled on her serve. The Italian only won 44% of her service points, including just 49% on her first serve. Paolini was broken in six of her nine service games in the match. Paolini’s serve has been a recurring issue, as she’s been broken at least four times in five of her last six matches.

Paolini is 2-3 since Indian Wells and has struggled to find her game. When Paolini is playing well, she has great movement and consistently hits the ball deep in the court. However, Paolini is a bit underpowered and can struggle when she’s having to hit groundstrokes from out wide, as her reach isn’t great.

Jil Teichmann turned her season around in Madrid. Teichmann made the semifinals before falling to Jessica Pegula 3-6, 4-6.

Teichmann’s first serve was mediocre against the American, as she only won 56% of her first serves and was broken four times. On return, Pegula won 66% of her service points. However, while Teichmann lost to Pegula, she did have impressive victories in Madrid over Petra Kvitova, Elena Rybakina and Anhelina Kalinina.

Teichmann had lost four of five matches coming into Madrid, so the semifinal appearance was a good boost for the Swiss. Teichmann’s heavy lefty game works well on clay.  She is able to drag her opponents around the court with her forehand and plays with consistent depth on her groundstrokes.

This isn’t a good matchup for Paolini.  Teichmann, if she can continue her Madrid form, will be able to stretch Paolini to the edges of the court with her topspin-centric forehand, which will make Paolini very uncomfortable.

On the slow Rome clay, Paolini will struggle to create any offense, especially given the way Teichmann was defending and counterpunching in Rome. Teichmann would need to have an off day to let Paolini in this match.

Pick: Teichmann -3.5 games (-132 via FanDuel)

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Ons Jabeur (-370) vs. Sorana Cirstea (+280)

1 p.m. ET

Sorana Cirstea struggled to find her game in Madrid. Cirstea lost 4-6, 2-6 in the opening round to Nuria Parrizas-Diaz

Cirstea struggled on her serve when facing Parrizas-Diaz, only winning 45% of her first-serve points and 39% of her second-serve points. Cirstea was unsteady from the baseline, as well, which did not help her cause.

Despite her performance against Parrizas-Diaz, Cirstea did make the semifinals of the clay event in Istanbul a week prior. She has a career winning percentage of 62% on clay, the highest of any surface. Cirstea has gone 14-10 on the season with the Romanian showcasing generally good controlled aggression while keeping a firm hold of the baseline.

Ons Jabeur won her first WTA 1000 title in Madrid this past week. Jabeur defeated Jessica Pegula 7-5, 0-6, 6-2 in the final.

Jabeur played incredible tennis all week, beating tough opposition such as Belinda Bencic, Simona Halep and Pegula. In the final, Jabeur did a great job of attacking Pegula’s second serve, winning 64% of her second-serve return points and breaking serve five times. While Jabeur didn’t serve well in the final, in her three prior matches, she won over 75% of her service points.

Jabeur’s drop shot is one of the best on the WTA Tour and her backhand slice is very tough for opponents to handle, as it stays very low to the court. However, Jabeur will almost certainly be physically and emotionally fatigued after winning the Madrid title.

Cirstea is a solid baseline player and, Madrid match aside, can still generally play aggressive tennis while maintaining control of her groundstrokes. She won’t make things easy on the Tunisian.

Jabeur had a long tournament in Madrid, playing six matches over 1.5 weeks and the emotional toll of winning such a big title might also play a role, as she likely won’t be mentally past her Madrid title coming into this match.

The slower conditions in Rome (compared to Madrid) does not suit Jabeur’s game. She won’t be able to get as many free points in Rome as she did in the Spanish capital and will be forced into longer rallies.

Pick: Cirstea +4.5 games (-102 via FanDuel)

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