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In this Sunday, May 15, 2016 file photo, Serena Williams poses with the trophy after beating Madison Keys 7-6, 6-3, in the final match of the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome.
In this Sunday, May 15, 2016 file photo, Serena Williams poses with the trophy after beating Madison Keys 7-6, 6-3, in the final match of the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome.|Alessandra Tarantino | Associated Press
Tennis

Tennis Monday: Abrams has 17 picks from the Italian Open including Serena and Venus Williams, Madison Keys, FA2, Fognini, Shapovalov & more

By Neal Abrams

Published on :

Internazionali BNL d’Italia
Rome, Italy
Monday, May 13, 2019

As Novak Djokovic rolled to his second title this year in Madrid, where he beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-4, the rest of both the ATP Tour and the WTA Tour had already blown into town in Rome for the next big tournament on both calendars, the Internazionali BNL d’Italia for both men and women. On Sunday there were a few Men’s first round singles matches, and for the most part the women were finishing out their qualifying event so that Monday will be a big day both for the ATP’s Masters 1000 tournament and for the WTA’s Premier Mandatory event which will be played on eight courts all connected with Court Central in the wondrous city of Rome, Italy.

Both tournaments have 64-person draws where the ATP plays their 64-man draws with 56 players and the WTA fills theirs with all 64 spots populated with competitors, there will be a total of 60 first round matches aggregately in singles alone, so I’m going to give some QuickPicks below. If you like great tennis action with some compelling matchups, this might be the tournament for you to watch and participate in via a wager here or there. Just remember that like last week’s tournament in Madrid, these matches will be played on slow European red clay, so be prepared for long rallies, dogged determination, and style personified, as slow court tennis is more a game where players are rewarded for being steady and having the ability to pinprick their opponents continually until they eventually bleed to death, rather than bludgeon them over the head resulting in massive wounds, and have them die by blunt force.

Men’s First Round QuickPicks

1. Felix Auger-Aliassime over Borna Coric

2. Alex de Minaur oer Marco Cecchinato

3. Fabio Fognini over Jo-Willie Tsonga

4. Fernando Verdasco over Kyle Edmund

5. Richard Gasquet over Jeremy Chardy

6. Denis Shapovalov over Pablo Carreno Busta

7. Gael Monfils over Albert Ramos-Vinolas

8. Laslo Djere over Mikhail Kukushkin

9. Casper Rudd over Dan Evans

Women’s First Round QuickPicks

1. Serena Williams over Rebecca Peterson

2. Sofia Kenin over Jasmine Paolini

3. Elise Mertens over Venus Williams

4. Vika Azarenka over Shuai Zhang

5. Madison Keys over Polona Hercog

6. Anett Kontaveit over Mona Barthel

7. Amanda Anisimova over Elisabetta Cocciaretto

8. Ajla Tomljanovic over Tamara Zidanesk