The WTA Premier 5 in Rome will be a very interesting tournament to see the status of all the protagonists present, preparatory to the next French Open, on stage in two weeks. Naomi Osaka leads the draw and, on her way in the top half, she could find Aryna Sabalenka or Kiki Bertens in the quarter-finals.
Simona Halep, who is in the same part of the draw in Osaka, could cross Sloane Stephens' path in the quarterfinals, but on their side, there are also Serena Williams, Johanna Konta, Marketa Vondrousova, Katerina Siniakova, Elise Mertens, Daria Kasatkina and Venus Williams.
In the bottom half, on the side of Elina Svitolina, defending champion, there are Garbine Muguruza, Caroline Wozniacki and Sofia Kenin. Petra Kvitova could meet Belinda Bencic in the quarter-finals. It is a tournament in which the energies of many tennis players who have reached the final phase of the Mutua Madrid Open will have to be evaluated.
Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova and Sloane Stephens could be the favorites if they recover quickly from the Spanish fatigues. Svitolina will have some chances to defend the title, while Osaka, although clay is not her favorite surface, could take advantage of the energy that her opponents wasted the previous week.
The unknowns will be Serena Williams and Garbine Muguruza. For different reasons, they could be the real judges of the tournament. If Serena were to reach a good physical condition, she could get far. Muguruza's ups and downs, if in a positive week, could be a discriminating factor.
Attention to Belinda Bencic; she is in shape and in a positive moment and she could have some chances to win. Outsiders: Vondrousova and Siniakova. Will Kiki Bertens, the specialist on clay courts, have disposed of the fatigue accumulated in Madrid in time? There will be no Angelique Kerber, Maria Sharapova, and Bianca Andreescu.
WTA Rome 2019 - Percentages: Simona Halep 20%, Petra Kvitova 20%, Sloane Stephens 20%, Kiki Bertens 20% Naomi Osaka 10% Belinda Bencic 10% Outsiders: Marketa Vondrousova and Katerina Siniakova