Rome Open tennis preview, predictions and best bets: Nadal heats up in time for Roland Garros

Rafael Nadal
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Ricky Dimon

Tennis· 1 week ago

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

The French Open is only a couple of weeks away, so the clay-court swing is really heating up. A second consecutive 1000-point tournament is on the schedule this coming week in Rome. That means it awards 1000 ranking points to the winner – the second-highest level on the ATP and WTA Tours behind only Grand Slams, which are worth 2000 (there are also 500s and 250s).

Let’s take look at the odds to win the Rome title (both men and women) and discuss the best bets to be made.

Rome Open tennis odds

Here are the odds for the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

ATP Rome Open odds

Carlos Alcaraz +300
Rafael Nadal +333
Novak Djokovic +333
Stefanos Tsitsipas +550
Alexander Zverev +1200
Andrey Rublev +2000
Casper Ruud +2200
Jannik Sinner +2800
Diego Schwartzman +3300
Felix Auger-Aliassime +5000
Hubert Hurkacz +5000
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina +5000

WTA Rome Open odds

Iga Swiatek +150
Ons Jabeur +900
Simona Halep +1000
Paula Badosa +1400
Maria Sakkari +1600
Garbine Muguruza +1800
Jessica Pegula +2200
Aryna Sabalenka +2200
Amanda Anisimova +2200
Belinda Bencic +2500
Jelena Ostapenko +2800
Coco Gauff +2800
Anett Kontaveit +2800
Naomi Osaka +2800

ATP Rome Open 3-star value play: Rafael Nadal (+333)

For his first tournament in almost two months, Nadal’s Madrid campaign was by no means discouraging. The King of Clay showed no sign of injury, advanced two rounds and lost only to eventual champion Carlos Alcaraz in a three-set quarterfinal contest. Keep in mind that the fast conditions at high altitude in Madrid make that Nadal’s worst clay-court event. Rome suits him much better. The 35-year-old is 68-7 lifetime in the Italian capital with 10 titles. Given that Nadal has played only three matches on clay this spring, he will be extremely motivated to go deep in Rome and get his game primed and ready in time for the French Open later this month. At any clay-court tournament other than Madrid, +333 is always going to be great value on Nadal. Don’t pass it up.

ATP Rome Open 2-star value play: Jannik Sinner (+2800)

Sinner has a perfect draw in Rome, where he is on the opposite side from Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Not even Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev, who played in the Madrid final, are in Sinner’s quarter. The 20-year-old Italian may be able to treat the home fans to a brilliant week, and they will be positively thrilled if that turns out to be the case. With Lorenzo Musetti out due to injury, Sinner is by far Italy’s best hope to make a deep run. The atmosphere in Rome is always raucous for players from the host nation – a real home-court advantage. Moreover, Sinner is playing at a stellar level in general. He is sporting a 21-5 match record this season and has reached the quarterfinals of four events. This is setting up extremely well for the world No. 12.

ATP Rome Open 1-star value play: Alexander Zverev (+1200)

As mentioned in last week’s piece, I correctly picked Alcaraz to win the Madrid title. Unfortunately I didn’t bet it because +330 odds were too short for me. Zverev at +1100 was my 3-star best bet and he came within one win of lifting the trophy but ran into the buzzsaw that is Alcaraz in the final. I don’t like Zverev quite as much this week, but at +1200 it’s worth a 1-star play. The second-seeded German is in the half of the draw away from Djokovic and Nadal, which is good news. Zverev does find himself in the same quarter as Alcaraz, but the 19-year-old Spaniard has to be fatigued both mentally and physically. Heck, I’m not even sure he will bother playing in Rome. Whatever the case, Zverev may be able to take advantage and go one step further than he did in Madrid.

WTA Rome Open 3-star value play: Paula Badosa (+1400)

With Iga Swiatek such a heavy favorite, a lot of other women have great value. Badosa is certainly among that group, as she is going off at +1400 and without a doubt has a realistic title chance. The Spaniard is seeded second behind Swiatek and has a favorable draw at the bottom of the bracket. Her toughest opponent on paper prior to the semifinals may be Veronika Kudermetova in round two, but Badosa just destroyed Kudermetova 6-3, 6-0 in Madrid. In 2021 she reached the semifinals in Madrid and the quarters at the French Open, so it’s obvious she can excel on clay.

WTA Rome Open 2-star value play: Maria Sakkari (+1600)

Even though I don’t see any value in Swiatek at +150, she is dominant enough at the moment that I will target players on the other side of the draw. The longer you avoid playing against Swiatek, the better. Like Badosa, Sakkari finds herself on the bottom half of the bracket – which is the place to be. She finished runner-up to Swiatek earlier this spring in Indian Wells, so her form is there. The Greek has enjoyed plenty of success on clay, too. She was one point away from advancing to the Roland Garros final last spring and she reached the Rome semis in 2019.

Paula Badosa

WTA Rome Open 1-star value play: Naomi Osaka (+2800)

It’s true that Osaka is not in peak form at the moment and has never been at her best on clay. However, there are few scenarios in which I would completely bypass her at +2800 odds. And it’s not like she doesn’t have a chance in Rome. Osaka finished runner-up in Miami earlier this spring, so her best level is somewhere in there. She will be well-rested, too, having lost early in Madrid. At this number, the four-time Grand Slam champion is well worth a shot.

The Pickswise tennis handicappers are on hand throughout the entire tennis season, bringing you the best free expert Tennis predictions and picks from top events including the U.S. Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the Australian Open.

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