- After four straight tournament titles, No. 1 Iga Swiatek took a pass on Madrid last week to be fresh for Rome
- The Italian Open defending champion, Swiatek is the only player with odds under +1000 to win the title
- Below, see the odds to win the Italian Open for all the favorites and viable longshots
In women’s tennis right now, there is Iga Swiatek and there is everybody else.
And none of the rest are in particularly good form, which makes it no surprise that the world No. 1, top seed, and defending Italian Open champion is the overwhelming favorite to take the title.
The main draw begins Monday, May 9.
WTA Italian Open Odds
|||Iga Swiatek (POL)||+175|
|–||Simona Halep (ROU)||+1100|
|||Paula Badosa (ESP)||+1200|
|||Maria Sakkari (GRE)||+2000|
|||Aryna Sabalenka (BLR)||+2200|
|||Anett Kontaveit (EST)||+2500|
|–||Amanda Anisimova (USA)||+2800|
|||Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP)||+2800|
|||Coco Gauff (USA)||+2800|
|[PR]||Bianca Andreescu (CAN)||+3300|
|–||Naomi Osaka (USA)||+3300|
|||Jessica Pegula (USA)||+3300|
|||Belinda Bencic (SUI)||+3300|
|||Emma Raducanu (GBR)||+4000|
|||Karolina Pliskova (CZE)||+4000|
Odds as of May 8 at BetMGM.
A year ago, Swiatek was only the No. 15 seed. Other than a tournament win in Adelaide – exceptionally, held after the Australian Open instead of leading into it – she hadn’t had any sort of a run.
And she won it all, dropping just a single set along the way and double-bageling Karolina Pliskova in the final (6-0, 6-0).
This year, she comes in on a 23-match winning streak, with four straight titles.
The Polish star has No. 5 seed Anett Kontaveit and No. 16 Victoria Azarenka in her quarter of the draw. Neither has done a thing lately.
The most intriguing potential opponent is the winner of a popcorn first-round clash between the 2019 and 2021 US Open champions – Bianca Andreescu and Emma Raducanu.
Both are making their Rome debuts.
No. 3 Aryna Sabalenka and No. 8 Danielle Collins are the other big seeds in her half. Again, neither has done much of anything lately.
Two of the most-experienced players in the draw – 2019 champion and last year’s runner-up Karolina Pliskova, and three-time semifinalist Garbiñe Muguruza – have been mostly MIA in 2022.
It’s hard to see where the traps are for Swiatek to not at least make the final.
Previous Italian Open Winners and Finalists
|2021|| Iga Swiatek (POL)|| Karolina Pliskova (CZE)|
|2020|| Simona Halep (ROU)
|| Karolina Pliskova (CZE)|
|2019|| Karolina Pliskova (CZE)||Johanna Konta (GBR)|
|2018|| Elina Svitolina (UKR)|| Simona Halep (ROU)|
|2017|| Elina Svitolina (UKR)|| Simona Halep (ROU)|
|2016|| Serena Williams (USA)||Madison Keys (USA)|
|2015|| Maria Sharapova (RUS)|| Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP)|
|2014|| Serena Williams (USA)|| Sara Errani (ITA)|
|2013|| Serena Williams (USA)|| Victoria Azarenka (BLR)|
What Can Simona Halep Do?
This is Simona Halep’s 12th appearance in Rome. She won it once, and lost two finals to the absent Elina Svitolina.
Halep has looked rejuvenated the last few months. She says she’s invigorated by a new coach in Patrick Mouratoglou and a new training setup at his academy. Though she is not seeded here, she will be a real threat.
— Iga Świątek News (@IgaSwiatek_News) May 8, 2022
Halep is in the Sabalenka-Collins section, with a possible third-round match against Belinda Bencic. She has a decent road to the semis. Beyond that, she’d likely have to get through Swiatek.
Best Bet: Iga Swiatek (+175)
Good Longshot: Simona Halep (+1100)
Italian Open First-Round Picks
The first round in Rome, which gets underway Monday, May 9 at 5:00 am ET, contains some heavyweight matchups.
Bianca Andreescu vs  Emma Raducanu
The 2019 and 2021 US Open champions meet in the first round.
It’s been … a time for both since their precocious titles. But it’s telling that, at 21, this will be the first time Andreescu has been healthy enough to even play Rome.
It’s also the first time for Raducanu, who has even less experience at the WTA level on clay. But she’s learning quickly.
Definitely the most-intriguing match in the first round, with Raducanu (-120)the slight favorite over Andreescu (-105).
Prediction: Andreescu in Three Sets (+340)
Naomi Osaka vs Sara Sorribes Tormo
Despite all the positive talk about working on mastering the clay, Osaka pulled up with an Achilles issue after just one match win in Madrid.
And then she played Sorribes Tormo, who routined her 6-3, 6-1.
So Osaka gets an opportunity for immediate revenge.
But there aren’t many indications that she will manage it – especially with the conditions being a lot slower in Rome – even if you wouldn’t expect the same score.
And yet, Osaka is the favorite at -143.
Prediction: Over 2.5 Sets (+135)