2024 Rome Open Thursday SCHEDULE and PREVIEW featuring Nadal, Swiatek, Gauff and Osaka-Kostyuk

Thursday, 09 May 2024 at 13:24
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As the first round of the men's singles concludes at the Rome Open, the second round for the WTA begins, with some of the top-seeded women of the tournament making their debut and the return of 10-times champion Rafael Nadal. The day is set to take place on Thursday, May 9.
Our preview looks ahead to some of the top ties and leading storylines ahead of Day Four at the Rome Open and which matches to look out for.

Nadal and Swiatek headline the day

The Center Court will feature the return of former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal (No. 305), who has been steadily improving with each match and will face Zizou Bergs (108), with whom he has no previous encounters. The Spaniard is the all-time leader in Rome with a record of 69-8 (90%) and this will be his final stop before Roland Garros.
On the women's side, unquestionably Iga Swiatek (No. 1) is the top favorite in clay court tournaments and she demonstrated it a week ago by winning the Madrid Open against 2-times champion Aryna Sabalenka (No. 2). The Polish player will debut on Thursday in Rome against Bernarda Pera (No. 77).
In the Grand Stand Arena, the highlight will be the match between former world No. 1 Naomi Osaka (No. 173) and Marta Kostyuk (No. 19). The Ukrainian has been one of the standout players of the year and currently ranks 8th in the WTA Race, so she will be the favorite against the Japanese player who usually struggles on clay. Later, the 2023 French Open finalist Coco Gauff (No. 3) will debut on the same court against the Polish player Magdalena Frech (No. 55).
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Swiatek has a record of 14-2 at the Rome Open (88%) and was the champion in 2021 and 2022.
The 2023 Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova (No. 6) will debut against Ana Bogdan, while the recent Australian Open finalist Zheng Qinwen (No. 7) will have to face Shelby Rogers (No. 398). Also noteworthy are the matches between Veronika Kudermetova (No. 25) against the 3-times Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber (No. 331) and the American Emma Navarro (No. 22) against Paula Badosa (No. 126).
The last matches of the men's draw include local players such as Matteo Arnaldi (No. 37) against Tomas Machac (No. 45), Lorenzo Sonego (No. 47) against Dusan Lajovic (No. 64), Luca Nardi (No. 81) against Daniel Altmaier (No. 78), and Andrea Vavassori (No. 168) against Dominik Koepfer (No. 52).

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