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With the French Open right around the corner, tennis fans turn their attention towards the Italian Open. The Masters 1000 event promises to be a classic for both the ATP and WTA Tour.
Novak Djokovic is seeking his seventh triumph at Foro Italico, looking to wrestle the number 1 ranking away from Carlos Alcaraz. In the women’s singles, Iga Swiatek suffered a final defeat in the Madrid Open and arrive in Rome for her third successive title attempt.
In addition to the battle at the top of the rankings, there are other storylines to be followed. Andy Murray triumphed here back in 2016 and arrives on the back of his win at the Aix-en-Provence ATP Challenger. While the big shots of the women’s division are battling amongst each other, 16-year-old Mira Andreeva has arrived to add more top-100 scalps to her burgeoning career.
There is plenty to be excited about this edition of the Roma Masters. We have you covered with our ATP Italian Open predictions as well as WTA Italian Open predictions for you to check out throughout the event.
Italian Open Preview – Top Participants This Year
Founded in 1930, the Italian Open will be commemorating its 93rd edition in 2013. The venue for the first event was in Milan but it found its permanent home in Rome in 1935. The best in the business have made their name here with Rafael Nadal claiming the honours ten times. On the WTA tour, Chris Evert has five titles to her name.
While fans will miss the King of Clay in 2023, there is plenty to cheer about. A potential duel between Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic is mouth-watering. In addition, it will be interesting to see how Swiatek responds to her final defeat to Aryna Sabalenka in Madrid. Let’s look at these in details below.
ATP Italian Open Preview
Djokovic returns to the court after missing out of the Madrid Open. He is playing catchup to Alcaraz, who will be making the short trip to Rome for extending his lead in the rankings. While Nadal continues to miss out, anyone who gets in their path will have to be at his best.
In addition to the top two, competition will be had from Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Russian ace has five titles to his name already, while the Greek maestro was the losing finalist last time around. Casper Ruud will be troubling the challengers while Munich Open winner, Holger Rune will also make matters interesting. A detailed overview of the Italian Open seeds can be read here.
WTA Italian Open Preview
Iga Swiatek brings back memories of prime Steffi Graf and Serena Williams. Although their playing styles cannot be more different, the Polish ace has been a dominating presence on the WTA Tour. This statement cannot be more true on the red surface, where she has utilized all her abilities to make little work of her rivals.
In Aryana Sabalenka, the women’s game is blessed to have a worthy competitor to Swiatek. The Belarusian showcased her class in the Madrid Open, overcoming Swiatek in the final to add to her Australian Open title. The 25-year-old has not had success at Roland Garros and the Italian Open will serve as the best preparation for the second Gran Slam event of the year.
The top two cannot rest easy as the chasing pack os hot on their heels. Ons Jabeur was the losing finalist in the last edition and is back on Italian soil to go one better. There will be competition from the likes of Jessica Pegula, Caroline Garcia and Coco Gauff. Elena Rybakina, Daria Kasatkina and Maria Sakkari have also enjoyed their time on the clay court and will make matters interesting during the course of the event.
Prize Money 2023 – Italian Open Preview
Similar to the previous four masters’ events, the Italian Open offers luxurious prize money. Moreover, as we come out of the Covid-19 pandemic’s shadows, the prize money has increased significantly. The total prize pool for the men’s ATP event stands at €7,705,780 while the WTA event will see €3,572,618 being distributed.
Although the prize pool has increased by around 41% for both events, a stark disparity remains in what participants in the men’s and women’s events will take home. The men’s winner will take home €1,105,265, 32.15% more than what Djokovic claimed last year. On the women’s side, the increase stands at 51.2%, the winner taking home €521,754, up from €272,200. Complete details about the Italian Open Prize can be read here.
Italian Open 2023 Preview – Key Tournament Dates and Schedule
The qualifying fixtures were scheduled for May 7-8, with the 2023 Italian Open main draw kickstarting on May 8th and will last until the 21st. You can read in detail about the Italian Open schedule, while a summary is shared below.
- Round 1 – May 9th – 12th
- Round 2 – May 12th – 14th
- Round 3 – May 15th – 16th
- Round 4 – May 17th
- Quarter-final – May 18th – 19th
- Semi-final – May 20th
- Final – May 21st
Watching the 2023 Italian Open
If you’re in the UK, you can watch it on Amazon Prime, but you have to pay £8.99 a month. That’s the only legal way to watch the tournament online. Fans in the US can follow the events on the Tennis Channel and TC Plus. For more details on the Italian Open broadcast, read our Steaming and TV Options guide.
Italian Open History and Most Successful Players
Over the years, the Italian Open has attracted some of the greatest tennis players in history, both men and women. Many legends of the sport have graced the clay courts of Rome, showcasing their talent, skill, and athleticism to the world. The 93rd edition of the Italian Open will be the same as fans and professionals flock to Foro Italico. History will be made at the hollowed grounds and we will be in attendance.
Let’s take a look at the past greats of the game and their performances in Rome Masters.
Most Successful Male
Rafael Nadal truly defines the word dominant, especially when it comes to clay court. In addition to his prolific form in Roland Garros, he has all the accolades in Monte Carlo, Madrid and Rome. With 10 titles to his name, he has etched his name in the Italian Open’s record books.
Not to be overshadowed by the Spaniard, Novak Djokovic is close behind. The Serbian ace enjoyed his 6th title triumph in 2022 as he overcame Stefanos Tsitsipas. While Nadal is absent from the current campaign, Djokovic will be battling with his countryman for bragging rights.
Most Successful Female
Many great female players have graced Foro Italico. Margaret Smith and Maria Bueno triumphed here three times apiece but it was American Chris Evert Lloyd who has the leaderboard to her name since her last title victory in 1982. Gabriela Sabatini, Conchita Martínez and Serena Williams have come close to equalling Evert’s heroics but have come up short.
From the current roster of players, Simona Halep, Elina Svitolina and Iga Swiatek have triumphed twice in the Rome Masters. While the former two do not find themselves at the top of the women’s game, all eyes will be on Swiatek. The Polish ace was the victor in the last two editions of the Italian Open and will be joining the ranks of Chris Evert and Conchita Martínez to win thrice in succession.
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