Iga Swiatek and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova meet in the second round of the 2023 tennis Italian Open. Let’s preview this game and give out a pick and prediction.
Iga Swiatek is coming off a 3 set final loss in Madrid to Aryna Sabalenka, the fourth time she’s lost a final in 17 appearances. Swiatek now shows up to the Italian Open, a tournament she’s won the last 2 years and has an 11-1 record for her career. Swiatek has to be the player to beat in this tournament, and she’s won 19 of her last 22 matches overall. Swiatek hasn’t lost an opening match since 2021 Cincinnati, which was 632 days ago to be exact. Swiatek has won 9 of her last 10 matches on clay court.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova is coming off a straight set win over Sara Errani that took 14 games to decide. In the victory, Pavlyuchenkova won 85 percent of her first serve points and 46 percent of her second serve points. Pavlyuchenkova won 72 percent of her total service points and converted on 5 of her 7 break points. Pavlyuchenkova got 67 percent of her first serves in play and hit 4 aces. Pavlyuchenkova looks to make the third round of a WTA 1000 since 2021 Madrid. Pavlyuchenkova looks to make the third round of the Italian Open for the third time in her career. Pavlyuchenkova has 36 career wins over top-10 players, but none of those wins have come since 2021. Pavlyuchenkova has lost 5 of her last 8 matches on clay court.
Swiatek won the only match against Pavlyuchenkova, which was an exhibition last year. The match was decided in straight sets and 19 games.
Pavlyuchenkova is still trying to return from a knee injury, and she only has a handful of matches on the main tour since coming back. The lack of consistent reps makes it tough to think she can put up a fight against the top ranked player in the world. There’s just not many players who can give Swiatek a serious push, and it doesn’t help when the opponent is still trying to get back in the swing of things.
I have no choice but to take Swiatek in straight sets for max betting value.