The busy clay court season continues this week as the world’s top players continue their preparations for the upcoming French Open, as both the ATP and WTA tours visit Italy for the Rome Masters.
The clock is ticking ahead of the season’s second Grand Slam with just under two weeks left until the start of the biggest clay event on the calendar.
Rome Masters Men’s Outright Betting
King of the clay Rafael Nadal has dominated this event in recent times, lifting the title seven times in the last nine years, making him the most successful player at the tournament.
And the Spaniard comes fresh off the back of winning last week’s Madrid Mutua Open, also an ATP 1000 Masters tournament, meaning he’s considerable favourite again here. Paddy Power offer the best price of Evens.
Novak Djokovic was the last man aside from Nadal to lift the title here in Rome, after beating the world number one in the 2011 final.
But after withdrawing from Madrid last week due to an ongoing wrist injury, I would be surprised if he were to be at his absolute best this week in Italy. Nevertheless, he’s second favourite with the bookies, with Bet 365 pricing him at 11/4.
Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka was dealt with an early exit in Madrid, as he bowed out in his first match of the tournament, losing to Austrian qualifier Dominic Thiem. He was beaten finalist here in 2008 and is best priced at 8/1 with Ladbrokes.
Fellow Swiss Roger Federer is back in action this weekend after withdrawing from Madrid due to the birth of his twin sons. He’s now a father of four, after previously having twin girls back in 2009.
Three times finalist here, most recently 12 months ago when he was beaten in straight sets by Nadal, Federer is currently best priced at 17/2 by Paddy Power.
Andy Murray is also in action this week, but following a disappointing start to the season, he’s not expected to trouble for the title. He’s available at 50/1 with Ladbrokes.
Keep up with the action from the men’s tournament all week on Sky Sports 3.
Rome Masters Women’s Outright Betting
The WTA tournament runs concurrently with the men’s tournament in Rome this week and defending champion Serena Williams heads into the tournament as the bookies’ early favourite.
She withdrew from her quarter-final match against Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitová in Madrid with a thigh strain and will hope to have shaken off this injury ahead of her first match against German Andrea Petkovic. Ladbrokes offer the best odds on the American at 5/2.
Maria Sharapova lifted the Madrid Open title on Saturday, beating Romania’s Simona Halep. The Russian has also clinched the title here twice before in both 2011 and 2012 and is available at 10/3 with SkyBet in the outrights this week.
Li Na, who was beaten at the quarter-final stage in Madrid by Sharapova is the next best priced at 4/1 with Ladbrokes. Halep is available at 9/1 with Paddy Power whilst third seed Agnieszka Radwańska, who reached the semis in Madrid, is priced at 10/1 with Ladbrokes.
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