By Britwatch Team

  • Top Seeds: Angelique Kerber, Karolina Pliskova, Garbiñe Muguruza, Dominika Cibulkova
  • 2016 Champion: Serena Williams
  • British interest: Johanna Konta
  • CLICK our featured players for stats from TennisAbstract

ROME, ITALY – The top four seeds have hardly set the world alight on the clay this year – can they turn their fortunes around before Roland Garros?




 Draws, Schedules & Results

Tournament Website
Order of Play



[1] Angelique Kerber

As the last stop before Roland Garros rolls around, Angelique Kerber eases back into the World No. 1 spot, briefly regained by Serena Williams after a couple of faltering performances from the German. Her best performance was back in 2012 with a run to the semi-final but since then she and Rome have bot really been on the best of terms.

She actually has a gentle start with a bye into the second round to meet a qualifier but she looks set to meet Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the third round as the first seeded opponent, with Madrid champion Simona Halep waiting in the wings for the quarter-finals.

Kerber’s Path to the Final (Ranking/Seeding)

  • R1: BYE
  • R3: Mirjana Lucic-Baroni [16]
  • QF: Simona Halep [6]
  • SF: Svetlana Kuznetsova [7]
  • F: Karolina Pliskova [2]


[2] Karolina Pliskova

Karolina Pliskova © Jimmie48 Photography

There is no surprise that of the surface stats we peer into, Karolina Pliskova in clay is the lowest, and it has showed in her results this year. After starting the year pretty steadily with two bins of tin on the hard courts the clay court season has been a bit of a bumoy landing in the mud.

She has yet to pick up a back to back win anywhere, and worse, flew home to compete in Prague as one the big stars only to exit stage right in the first round.

She has possibly a better form Carla Suárez Navarro in the second round, with compatriot and almost complete opposite in character Barbora Strycova as the first seeded foe in the third round. She could face Istanbul champion Elina Svitolina but she had an equally woeful time in Madrid so perhaps that levels the playing field.

On ranking she ought to meet Britain’s Johanna Konta in the semi-finals but her record on clay is equally as unimpressive for now. Then again would you put any store behind Garbiñe Muguruza in her current slump of form?

Pliskova’s Path to the Final (Ranking/Seeding)

  • R1: BYE
  • R2: Carla Suárez Navarro
  • R3: Barbora Strycova [14]
  • QF: Elina Svitolina [8]
  • SF: Garbiñe Muguruza [3]
  • F: Angelique Kerber [1]


[3] Garbiñe Muguruza

It must be worrying times for the defending French Open champion Garbiñe Muguruza. She has been bounced out of the first two clay tournaments in her opening rounds and her promising start to the year seems to be fading away.

Last year she made it to the semi-finals, as her stock was rising, but she has Stuttgart and now Madrid runner-up Kristina Mladenovic lurking n her side of the draw for starters.

Muguruza’s Path to the Final (Ranking/Seeding)

  • R1: BYE
  • R2: Shelby Rogers
  • R3: Kristina Mladenovic [13]
  • QF: Johanna Konta [5]
  • SF: Karolina Pliskova [2]
  • F: Angelique Kerber [1]


[4] Dominika Cibulkova

Dominika Cibulkova skipped Rome after finishing as the runner-up in Madrid last year, and having had to withdraw from Stuttgart with a wrist injury it was always going to be tough for her to defend last year’s points in Madrid, bowing out in the second round.

She could potentially be out eating pizza and enjoying the Italian life sooner than she thinks here too with some solid clay courters in her secton,

Cibulkova’s Path to the Final (Ranking/Seeding)

  • R1: BYE
  • R2: Roberta Vinci
  • R3: Kiki Bertens [15]
  • QF: Svetlana Kuznetsova [7]
  • SF: Angelique Kerber [1]
  • F: Karolina Pliskova [2]

The Internazionali BNL D’Italia 2017 takes place between 14-21 May (BST +1 hour).

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