2024 Rome Open Thursday Schedule and Preview featuring Swiatek-Gauff and Sabalenka-Collins

Thursday, 16 May 2024 at 07:28
The schedule for Thursday, May 16th of the Rome Open has been revealed. The ATP draw will determine the last two semifinalists of the bracket, while in the WTA, the last four competitors will vie for a spot in the final.
Our preview looks ahead to some of the top ties and leading storylines ahead of Day Ten at the Rome Open and which matches to look out for.

Hurkacz takes on Paul, Tsitsipas faces tough challenge from Jarry  

The day kicks off with the 7th seed Hubert Hurkacz (No. 9) facing off against the last remaining American male competitor, Tommy Paul (No. 16). The Pole has achieved his best results on hard courts, but has adapted well to the conditions at the Madrid Open, having defeated three clay specialists along the way, including the 10-time champion Rafael Nadal (No. 305), and the Argentinians Tomas Martin Etcheverry (No. 28) and Sebastian Baez (No. 19).
On the other hand, Paul has had a great tournament without dropping a set, spending just four hours and 24 minutes on court so far. The American had never before reached the quarterfinals of a clay-court Masters 1000, but achieved it this time by defeating the 2023 champion Daniil Medvedev. This will be their third encounter against Hurkacz, with a head-to-head record of 1-1 so far, although both previous matches were on hard court.
The second men's duel will feature Stefanos Tsitsipas (No. 8) against the Chilean Nicolas Jarry (No. 24). The Greek comes in at an impeccable level and is seen by many as the top candidate for the title, following straightforward victories over strong rivals like Cameron Norrie (No. 30) and Alex De Minaur (No. 11). Tsitsipas boasts a 13-2 record on clay this year and recently clinched his third Masters 1000 title at the Monte-Carlo Masters.
Stefanos Tsitsipas conquered his 3rd Masters 1000 title at Monte-Carlo a month ago
Facing him is a formidable opponent in Jarry. The Chilean leads the head-to-head 3-2 and is one of the most powerful players on the tour, both from his forehand and in his serve, posing a significant challenge for Tsitsipas. Despite this, the Greek defeated him in their only clay-court encounter and comes in with greater confidence, considering that Jarry had lost three consecutive times in the first round before reaching Rome, and has yet to face a top-30 opponent at the Foro Italico.

Swiatek and Gauff clash in Rome as Collins seeks redemption against Sabalenka

The Polish player, recently crowned champion of the Madrid Open, easily defeated Madison Keys 6-1, 6-3. Iga Swiatek (No. 1) is in her 16th WTA 1000 semifinal out of 30 main draws entered (53.3%), and has reached 75 clay victories out of 85 WTA matches in her career (88.2%).
She will face Coco Gauff (No. 3), who secured a good victory against world No. 7 Zheng Qinwen with a score of 7-6, 6-1. The American now faces the opponent who has caused her the most trouble in her career, with a poor record of 1-9 against the Polish player. Swiatek will be the clear favorite in their first encounter of the year, aiming to secure her spot in the final of Rome, a stage she has reached twice before (2021, 2022), winning the title on both occasions.
Gauff has won 61 matches in WTA 1000 events so far. She holds the record for victories before turning 21 years old, surpassing Caroline Wozniacki (60).
The Thursday session will conclude with a rematch between Sabalenka and Collins two weeks after their encounter in the Madrid Open. The American was on an incredible streak of 15 consecutive wins and two titles, but Sabalenka delivered a spectacular performance to eliminate Collins in the Round of 16 with a score of 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
The defeat in Madrid did not affect the level of play Collins has exhibited since then. In Rome, she has won four consecutive matches without dropping a set, including victories against rivals like Caroline Garcia (No. 23) and Victoria Azarenka (No. 24).
On Sabalenka's side, she comes into the match after defeating the former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 6-4. The two-time Grand Slam champion is the second player to reach 10 or more WTA 1000 semifinals since the start of the 2020 season, second only to Iga Swiatek (16). The Belarusian leads the head-to-head against Collins 5-0 and will be slightly favored against the American.

Schedule - 2024 Rome Open

Centre Court

(7) Hubert Hurkacz (POL) v (14) Tommy Paul (USA)
(1) Iga Swiatek (POL) v (3) Coco Gauff (USA)
(6) Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) v (21) Nicolas Jarry (CHI)

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