Italian Open 2024 preview – seeds, draw, schedule, and predictions

Italian Open 2024 preview – seeds, draw, schedule, and predictions
Photo by Icon Sport

Ready to digest this Italian Open 2024 preview ahead of the final 1000 event of the clay court swing? I’m excited to share all of the important details with you today before the main draw begins! 

Of course, the Italian Open is also known as the Rome Masters on the ATP 2024 schedule, and I’ll be using both references throughout this preview. However, much like the previous Madrid Open, the Italian Open consists of both ATP and WTA events. This means the world’s best on both tours are heading to the Italian capital for a shot of capturing the title.

And with Roland Garros right around the corner, this tournament carries significant weight. Therefore, join me as I cover this Italian Open 2024 preview, where I’ll detail things like prize money, draws, top seeds, and so much more.

Italian Open 2024 preview – important tournament details

The Italian Open rounds of a chain of top-tier 1000-level tournaments from the last couple of months. It’s the final clay court masters event of the year for the men, and the same is true for the women. Furthermore, with the French Open set to begin on May 26th, the Italian Open will show us who’s looking most likely to move on and claim glory in Paris.

But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves! Before we reach that point, let me cover some key details to kick off this Italian Open 2024 preview:

Event schedule

In 2023, the WTA and ATP Tour joined forces for an experiment that has proved useful. This ‘experiment’ involved an extension to the standard schedule for 1000-level tournaments, turning them into 10-day events. Subsequently, the event schedule covers 10 full days of tennis in Rome for 2024, and here’s what’s coming up over the next couple of weeks:

  • 1st rounds: May 8th – 10th 
  • 2nd rounds: May 10th – 12th
  • 3rd rounds: May 13th – 14th
  • Round of 16: May 14th – 15th
  • Quarter-finals – May 15th – 16th
  • Semi-finals – May 16th – 17th
  • Finals – May 18th (WTA) & May 19th (ATP)

For the Italian Open day-by-day schedule, things could change if the weather impacts the assumed progression of the draw. But for the time being, this is the provisional schedule for the ATP and WTA Italian Open.

Defending champions

As you might recall, it was Daniil Medvedev who won the 2023 Italian Open. He’s back for another bite of the cherry in 2024, too, and this time around, he is the 2nd seed. As for the women’s event in 2023, Elena Rybakina claimed the title.

Italian Open 2024 preview Medvedev
Photo by Icon Sport

She’s also back again in 2024, yet she is the 4th seed.

Prize money

The total prize pool for the 2024 Italian Open is €12,668,125, which is split between the ATP and WTA events. However, the pool isn’t split evenly, as €7,877,020 is allocated for the men’s events compared to €4,791,105 for the women’s events. Because of this, as you’ve no doubt guessed, the Italian Open doesn’t have equal prize money, which is a key talking point this year.

Location, format, and playing surface

The final part of my Italian Open 2024 preview relates to the tournament specifics – separate from the schedule, defending champions, and prize money breakdown. Starting with the location, of course, the tournament is played in Italy’s capital – Rome. It’s played at the famous Foro Italico, which is a sports park with many picturesque stadiums dotted around the grounds.

As for the surface, this is the final 1000-level clay court event of the season for both men and women. This alone means the 2024 Italian Open is significant for rankings points and individual player confidence as we approach Roland Garros.

Italian Open 2024 preview – draw breakdown and top seeds highlighted

The 2024 Italian Open draw was made on May 6th. This means we know where the seeds have been placed, who is playing who in the opening rounds, and who might meet in the tournament after a round or two. Of course, a key part of my Italian Open 2024 preview is highlighting these seeds and analyzing the draw in greater detail, so let’s get right into it.

Main seeds for WTA and ATP Italian Open

In both the men’s and women’s events at the 2024 Italian Open, there are 32 seeds occupying 32 of the 96 main draw places. The seeded players are based on rankings, much like they are for other tournaments throughout the year. They are naturally expected to do well at the tournament, too, and all seeds have received a bye into round two.

That said, I’d like to quickly highlight the top 8 seeds for the men’s and women’s singles draws for the 2024 Italian Open now. 

ATP top seeds

  • Novak Djokovic (1)
  • Daniil Medvedev (2)
  • Alexander Zverev (3)
  • Andrey Rublev (4)
  • Casper Ruud (5)
  • Stefanos Tsitsipas (6)
  • Hubert Hurkacz (7)
  • Grigor Dimitrov (8)

WTA top seeds

  • Iga Swiatek (1)
  • Aryna Sabalenka (2)
  • Coco Gauff (3)
  • Elena Rybakina (4)
  • Maria Sakkari (5)
  • Marketa Vondrousova (6)
  • Qinwen Zheng (7)
  • Ons Jabeur (8)

Key matches to tune in for

As referenced earlier, the main draw for the Italian Open will begin on May 8th. That’s when the first rounds of the main draw will start anyway, and it’s when we will start rolling with a few tennis predictions today for you to check out at your leisure. 

Since the main draw matches will start then, I figured I’d point out some of the most intriguing matches for you to watch early on in the event:

  • Darderi vs Shapovalov – round one (ATP)
  • Evans vs Fognini – round one (ATP)
  • Struff vs Cachin – round one (ATP)
  • Trevisan vs Putintseva – round one (WTA)
  • Andreeva vs Badosa – round one (WTA)
  • Errani vs Anisimova – round one (WTA)

Outright predictions – Italian Open 2024 preview 

The final part of my Italian Open 2024 preview relates to my own views on who could win the individual events in Rome. Of course, there’s no guarantee that my predictions will come true. But now that the draw has been made, I can at least take a stab at predicting the winner of both the ATP and WTA events. 

Italian Open 2024 preview Swiatek
Photo by Icon Sport

You can bet on these individuals to win the 2024 Italian Open too, but that’s entirely your choice.

WTA Italian Open outright winner – Iga Swiatek

Following her triumph at the Madrid Open last week, I think Swiatek will continue her form and take the title in Rome. It felt somewhat significant that she took out Sabalenka in the finals of Madrid, and she beat other players she’s struggled against in the past too. These are the kinds of results that give a player immense belief, and I think she will go all the way here.

ATP Italian Open outright winner – Novak Djokovic

After the shock withdrawals of guys like Alcaraz and Sinner, I truly believe that Novak Djokovic will surprise us all and win the 2024 Italian Open. Sure, he’s had a very subpar season by his standards. But in recent times, he’s had a knack for peaking when it really matters. And with the French Open right around the corner, I think he will have hit the practice courts hard in preparation to win this tournament.

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