Tennis Picks: Li Na Player to Beat in Rome Masters

Nila Amerova

Friday, May 16, 2014 2:26 PM GMT

It’s down to the last eight in the Eternal City. With the French Open fast approaching, we ask the only question that matters: Are the last eight ladies at the BNL D’Italia Internazionali amongst the best French Open picks that you should be considering?

Rome Quarterfinalists
In the first quarter, Serena Williams advances into the quarterfinals with a straightforward victory over Varvara Lepchenko, and she reaches a significant milestone: ties Venus Williams for most career wins among active players. The American starlet leads the French Open futures betting market at +175 to win outright. That she’s underscoring her fancied odds in Rome this week with a solid run bodes well for her highly anticipated Parisian adventure, particularly since she was forced to withdraw from Madrid last week with a thigh injury, prompting concern about her fitness for the upcoming French Open.

Williams takes on Shuai Zhang of China in the quarterfinals, a player that doesn’t register on the French Open radar. Well, she didn’t at the start of the clay-court swing. She doesn’t yet, as you’ll be hard pressed to find her odds on the French Open board without special request. What’s more, she may yet remain a special request item ahead of the major clay-court showpiece because her chances of actually winning it are slim to none, despite her standout run in Rome this week.

In the second quarter, Carla Suarez Navarro and Ana Ivanovic set up a quarterfinal clash that is plainly French Open worthy. The Spaniard is a clay-court guru, which means she’s a player tennis bettors definitely should spot. She might not be amongst the Top 10 favourites to win the French Open, but she can shake up any draw. On the other hand, Ivanovic is a former French Open champion (2009), who is enjoying a solid season.

In fact, it’s the Serbian starlet’s best term since her breakout year in 2009. She beat Serena Willliams at the Australian Open earlier this year. Now she’s added Maria Sharapova (Rome R16) to her list of big scalps; both wins should send her into the French Open with more confidence than she’s enjoyed in years.

Ivanovic strikes an attractive pose on court and tennis betting boards across sportsbooks as the +1600 bet to win Rome and the +2200 bet to win the French Open. It goes without saying her confidence will soar if she wins the title in Rome this week against the odds. So will her French Open odds, for that matter.

In the third quarter, Jelena Jankovic and Agnieszka Radwanska are set to collide. Once again, it’s another French Open worthy matchup. Both players practically leap off the page as value tennis picks for your consideration in French Open betting markets, particularly when considering your tennis picks to win each quarter of the draw. Of this pair, the latter is more consistent and trustworthy hence her +2500 future odds to win the French Open. Jankovic (+6600 for the French Open title) however is a dangerous floater. 

In the fourth and final Rome quarter, Li Na and Sara Errani are set to battle. The pair has enjoyed great success in Paris – Li Na is a former champion while Errani is a former finalist.  This year Li Na shed the one-Slam wonder moniker when she won the Australian Open; not least it also helped her advance in tennis betting estimation for possibly a second French Open title. As things currently stand, she’s the third favourite at +400, after Serena Williams (+175) and Maria Sharapova (+333). 

Sara Errani’s stock value has fallen to the wayside since her disappointing 2013 season, admitting she’s been struggling with the pressure of expectation. Nevertheless, she’s a fine clay-court player, whose +2800 French Open price tag rings fair. But if she comes through in Rome at the expense of Li Na, it would be quite the statement ahead of the French Open.


Tennis Betting Verdict
Rome’s quarterfinal line-up is interesting, not to mention well balanced amongst standout French Open picks and solid clay-court gurus, with a few improbable picks strewn in between. A few leap off the page as solid options for your consideration, namely Serena Williams and Li Na. As well, Ana Ivanovic and Agnieszka Radwanska appear to be worth your consideration as a few key outside tennis picks.

In any event, here are some of our (wild) predictions for the WTA premier mandatory event in Rome:


Quarterfinal Predictions
Serena Williams and Ana Ivanovic to set up a semi-final clash in the top half of the draw; Li Na and Jelena Jankovic to set up a semi-final clash in the bottom half of the draw.

Semi-final Predictions: Serena to beat Ivanovic; Li Na to beat Jankovic

Final Tennis Predictions: Li Na to beat Serena

Tennis Free Picks: Li Na to win Rome at +400