5 Storylines for the 2022 Italian Open


The 2022 Italian Open actually began on Sunday with men’s and women’s action from Rome. Here are five storylines we should be keeping attention to.

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5) Ons Jabeur enters Italy as a WTA 1000 Series champion.

At the Madrid Masters this past week, Ons Jabeur made tennis history by becoming the first Arab woman to win a WTA event. She defeated Jessica Pegula of the United States in the final, 7-5, 0-6, 6-3.

4) Iga Swiatek returns.

The world number one is returning to women’s tennis after missing the Madrid Masters with an arm injury. Swiatek won Indian Wells and the Miami Open earlier this year.

3) First round battle of 2021 Grand Slam finalists.

In a fantastic first round matchup, Canada’s Leylah Annie Fernandez (-142) faces Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (+122). Fernandez reached the 2021 U.S. Open final before losing to Great Britain’s Emma Raducanu, while Pavlyuchenkova reached the 2021 French Open final before losing to Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic. Fernandez won their only prior battle, a third round win at the Indian Wells in 2021,  5-7, 6-3, 6-4. It is no surprise that Pavlyuchenkova is the favourite on Monday, as she reached her grand slam final last year on clay.

Related: Novak Djokovic, Barbora Krejcikova win French Open 

2) First round battle of US Open champions.

There is a juicy first round match in Rome on Monday. We have the 2019 U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu of Canada (-116) versus 2021 U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu of Great Britain (-104). This will be their first career meeting head-to-head. One thing fans will have to keep an eye on is Raducanu’s back which has been acting up.

Related: Bianca Andreescu becomes first Canadian to Win a Tennis Major in Singles

Related: Emma Raducanu and Daniil Medvedev win U.S. Open

1) Carlos Alcaraz is the player to beat.

It has been a sensational run for Carlos Alcaraz of Spain the last while. He has been sensational over the last month winning in Miami, Barcelona, and now Madrid. In his latest ATP tournament in Madrid, he beat Rafael Nadal in the quarters, Novak Djokovic in the semis, and Alexander Zverev of Germany in the finals.

UPDATE: As of Monday, Alcaraz withdrew from the Italian Open because of a right ankle injury.

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