Anhelina Kalinina vs Veronika Kudermetova Rome 2023 Preview and Prediction


With the Italian Open down to four women now, there will be a new champion and it could be one of two unlikely contenders from the bottom half of the draw. Early departures from the likes of Aryna Sabalenka and Jessica Pegula opened up the draw for Anhelina Kalinina and Veronika Kudermetova, who took their chances brilliantly to get to this stage. Both their previous matches have gone the distance with Kalinina winning the most recent one in Dubai this year.

It was less of a surprise that the aggressive style of Kudermetova worked in Madrid, where the conditions do help out such players. However, her run to the final four here has been a bit more of a shock even if she has only played seeds outside of the top 20. She ousted Qinwen Zheng in the last round, coming from a set down to beat the Chinese 3-6 6-3 6-4. “The last few weeks I started to play better,” Kudermetova said. “A lot of good wins. I started to play more consistently. I think I am a little more calm, focused on improving, and do the right things, because before I tried to play good and show results.”

Kalinina had defeated Sofia Kenin earlier in the tournament before making it past two huge hitters in the previous rounds. She came from a set down against both Madison Keys and Beatriz Haddad Maia, outlasting the pair in lengthy matches. The 6-7 7-6 6-3 lasted win over the latter lasted a crazy three hours and forty-one minutes, the longest match of the year. “It sounds very basic — fight, fight — but it was today about the fighting spirit because it’s really tough when you are down 3-0 to be positive and to still believe that you will win just this ball,” Kalinina said. “It’s not about winning the set because if you think like that it’s really tough to go from 3-0 to win 6-3.”

With the absurd scheduling of this tournament, Kalinina should be well rested having played that match on Tuesday with two clear rest days. She should be taking confidence from defeating two similar players to Kudermetova but will have to be wary on return with the way the Russian is serving. She hit 11 aces in the previous round and these free points or lack thereof will prove decisive to the outcome.

Prediction – Anhelina Kalinina in three sets