This article is part of our Tennis Betting series.
The Italian Open continues Tuesday from the clay courts of Rome with women's first-round action and a mix of first-round and second-round play for the men. A clash of young Grand Slam champions on the women's side will be the match to watch, while a couple women coming off deep runs in Madrid could face early trouble here. On the men's side, a pair of established veterans are poised to build on strong recent results against opponents of varying ability. All match odds are taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
We're early in this tournament but getting deeper into the clay-court swing, providing a fair amount of data to weigh various players' form on the slow stuff, especially when coupled with their historical results. This information can help pinpoint intriguing betting opportunities, both among favorites likely to cruise to victory and underdogs ready to pull off upsets. The aforementioned underdogs are highlighted in the Upset Alert section, the Lock It In section covers players who can safely be considered overwhelming favorites, while the Value Bet section recommends enticing options in matchups that are considered closer to toss-ups.
Paolini can blame her 1-2 clay-court record on some tough draws, as she lost to Jessica Pegula in Charleston and eventual champion Ons Jabeur in the first round of Madrid. Teichmann's coming off a semifinal run in Madrid, but with the home crowd behind the Italian Paolini, this could be an opportunity for an upset. Paolini's proven capable of beating top players, knocking off Aryna Sabalenka at Indian Wells in March.
Speaking of Jabeur, this is a classic formula for a letdown. She's coming off the biggest title of her career, and a historic one at that, as Jabeur became the first African player to win a WTA 1000 title Saturday in Madrid. She got no favors from the draw makers in this tournament, as the big-hitting Cirstea is ranked 26th in the world and has a 2-0 career record against Jabeur. Cirstea's worth taking a flier on as a heavy underdog.
Lock It In
Nakashima won two matches to qualify into the draw here, but he's 1-2 in main draw matches on clay this year, with the lone win coming against a player ranked outside the top 250 in Nicolas Alvarez Varona. Dimitrov, on the other hand, is playing excellent clay-court tennis in 2022, with a 7-1 record against opponents not named Stefanos Tsitsipas. Nakashima's no Tsitsipas on any surface, but especially not on clay.
Samsonova was terrific in Stuttgart last month, pushing Iga Swiatek to 7-5 in the third in the semis, but that tournament was the exception rather than the norm, as Samsonova's just 6-8 otherwise in 2022. Her win over Karolina Pliskova in Stuttgart is also Samsonova's only victory over a top-60 opponent this season. Given that context, you should feel safe going with Pegula here, as the American's ranking has climbed to No. 11 after her run to the final in Madrid last week.
This is a brutal draw for both these guys, but Goffin's the better value as the clear underdog. The Belgian veteran looked tremendous in Madrid last week, winning two matches in straight sets before dropping a 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (9) thriller to Rafael Nadal. Goffin also won a clay-court title in April, as the former world No. 7 has started to round back into form. Hurkacz has decent clay-court results as well and a 6-2 record on the surface this year, but the world No. 12 is still most vulnerable on the slower surface, as three of his six wins have come in three sets.
This one's truly a toss-up, but there's no fun in not weighing in on the match of the day. Andreescu's unique blend of variety and power isn't something that Raducanu has seen before, and Bianca actually has the edge in experience as an oft-injured 21-year-old, as her opponent's only 19. Both are already US Open champions, but this one will mean more to Andreescu as she tries to register a signature win in her climb back towards the top of the women's game.