Due to start at 2:15 pm
Williams 2.74, Mertens 1.55
Venus Williams has won both their previous matches. They last met at Wimbledon in July 2017 and she won in 2 close sets. She won on clay in May 2017 at he French Open. She won that one in straight sets.
Clay results are better for Mertens in the last 12 months.
Overall results favour Venus in the last 12 months and also in 2019. She wasn’t great on clay last season. She has had some great results in Rome over the years. She lost in the second round last year but made the quarter finals in 2017.
Mertens has never played in the Rome Open. She was disappointing last week in Madrid losing in straight sets to Anna Karolina Schmiedlova as a strong pre match favourite. In Rabat at the end of April she reached the quarter finals although was short priced favourite in the first two rounds. She lost to Sakkari in straight sets as a 1.40 favourite. In Stuttgart she joined a very exclusive club of people who have lost to Kasatkina in 2019.
We have a decent chance of seeing 3 sets. Lay Mertens if she breaks first and remove liability at 1.60. Lay the set one winner.
Mertens hasn’t been good on clay this year. She should win this but it is far from certain.
Update: Venus broke first but was broken straight back. Sh broke again and was immediately broken back. Mertens then went a break ahead and she was also broken straight back. Venus broke again to take the set.
Mertens won two late breaks in the second set to level the match.
Venus took a 5-1 lead in the final set but wasted 8 match points. She eventually won the set in a tie break.
Venus won 7-5, 3-6, 7-6.
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