WTA Semifinals Preview – Rome 2024

by Simon Zeitler
coco gauff clay

Here we are in the new WTA era, where consistency seems to be a thing. Once again, the top players battle it out in the semifinals today, only missing Elena Rybakina, who needed to pull out due to illness before the event. 

Swiatek training in Rome

Semifinal #1 Swiatek vs Gauff, 15.00 CET

And our first semifinal of course needs to feature Madrid winner and world no 1 Iga Swiatek. Her Rome run looked impeccable once again, where she beat Bernarda Pera, Yulia Putintseva, Angie Kerber and Madison Keys without dropping a set. Apart from the first set against Kerber, she looked in total control against all opponents, and anything but another final run would come as a surprise.

Even if her Madrid performance was already very impressive, it seems that Swiatek is peaking towards Roland Garros and another Grand Slam title. And with her track record, she is not burning any unnecessary energy and can come into the decisive games well rested.

For her opponent, Coco Gauff, the way into the semifinal was rather the opposite. After she beat Magdalena Frech in straight sets, she had back-to-back three set battles against Cristian and Badosa. Her quarterfinal against Qinwen Zheng looked very close in the first set, but it seems that Gauff gets more and more comfortable on the clay and the second set was very well handled. It seems that she is also peaking towards her match against Iga, even though the Polish No. 1 seems to be the clear-cut favorite.

The head-to-head between the two is 9-1 in favor of Swiatek, the only defeat coming in Cincinnati in 2023, the year of Gauff’s US Open triumph. On clay, Gauff has not beaten Iga yet – but of course she reached the 2022 Roland Garros final, where she met Swiatek and fell short 6:3 6:1. While she surely isn’t the typical American player, who struggles on clay a lot, it would be a surprise if she could beat the No. 1 in Rome.

Predictions and Odds

We can’t see Gauff get out of this challenge against an opponent just too good on clay at the moment.

While the odds on Swiatek are way too low, we like this bet on Hcp -3.5 for Iga.

Get good odds over at .

Semifinal #2 Sabalenka vs Collins, 20.30 CET

The other semifinal features the other dominant player on tour – Aryna Sabalenka. She seems to be as consistent in her results as Swiatek, but her games were considerably closer in Rome. She lost a set to Katie Volynets in the first round and almost lost to Elina Svitolina in the Round of 16, where she had to go to a deciding tiebreak. It seems that her game style, which is much more associated with taking risks, is a lot more up and down than Swiatek’s brand of tennis. But on a good day, regardless of the surface, she will be hard to beat for anyone on tour.

And that anyone in our second semifinal is no other than American Danielle Collins, who faced her already in Madrid and took a set off Sabalenka there. The 30-year-old seems to be in the shape of her life, even though (or maybe because) she announced her nearing retirement after this season. After struggling with injuries and chronic illness throughout her career, she has already decided to end her professional career. Maybe this lightens the weight on her shoulders and enables her to play the kind of tennis we have been witnessing the last weeks, where she played incredible and won a Masters title in Miami.

Their head-to-head is 5-0 for Sabalenka, with their only meeting on clay in Madrid, so the favorite by ranking seems to be in the driver’s seat for this one. But bear in mind that Collins plays a different level than through most of her career right now and surely is closer than in previous seasons, so a win wouldn’t come as a surprise here. This in my opinion is the much closer semifinal and Collins spent 2 hours less on court than Sabalenka, giving her a slight physical edge here maybe.

The betting odds still see Sabalenka as the favorite, but this could be a good matchup for Collins with the way the tournament and season has been shaping up so far! My prediction here is a Swiatek – Sabalenka final once again, with a shot for Danielle Collins if she plays her best tennis tonight! What is your opinion? Will we see a surprise or the continuation of the rivalry for No. 1?

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