Setting the scene: Grand Slam Champions Iga Swiatek and Elena Rybakina are set to clash in a Rome matchup involving the so-called “Little Big Three” of the WTA. The other member, Aryna Sabalenka, lost in Rome’s round of 64, so she’s out of the picture. Swiatek has had a strong clay-court season, winning in Stuttgart and reaching the final in Madrid. Rybakina has exited early on clay in 2023 but has looked strong in Rome.
For tickets to this year’s French Open checkout P1 Travel for all your ticketing needs.
Swiatek vs Rybakina H2H: This is a re-match of this year’s Indian Wells final won by Rybakina and this year’s Australian Open, also won by Rybakina. The overall head-to-head for these two players is 2-1, the only other meeting being a win by Swiatek on indoor courts at the Ostrava Open in 2021.
What the chatbot won’t tell you: This is Iga’s best surface. It’s clay slowed down without the bother of altitude. She has time to wind up her massive forehand and she uses her speed and sliding skills brilliantly. On the other hand, Rybakina’s coach has been reminding her to bend her knees. A good mover, her long legs and tall frame make her just a tad more unsteady on clay. In addition, Rybakina’s big serve is mitigated on the slower surface. Swiatek is used to have her serve be a point-starter and build the point from there. From an emotional standpoint, Iga will be eager to beat the player who has nabbed her twice in 2023. That said, cool cucumber Rybakina is playing well enough to rattle Iga for a set.
Prediction: Swiatek in 3