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Bertens vs Anisimova WTA Rome Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Can Bertens reproduce her Madrid form in Rome?

Leye Aduloju in WTA Tour 15 May 2019
  • Bertens vs Anisimova is live from Rome on Thursday 16 May at 10am local/9am BST
  • Bertens and Anisimova meet for the first time on Wednesday
Kiki Bertens. (Photo by Mutsu Kawamori/AFLO)

Can Kiki Bertens carry on her sensational form from Madrid into this week's Italian Open? The Dutchwoman opens her Rome campaign against American teenager, Amanda Anisimova on Thursday.

This second-round match at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia has been postponed from Wednesday due to rain. The winner of the match between Kiki Bertens and Amanda Anisimova will face Alize Cornet or Carla Suarez Navarro in the third round later on the day on Court 6.

Bertens is coming off winning her biggest career title in Madrid, where she powered through the draw without dropping a set to claim her maiden Premier Mandatory title.

Her transition from being just a clay-court expert to an all-surface player over the last year has been well-documented, but the 27-year-old remains a force on clay, and her improvements on other surfaces could now be rubbing off on her performances on her favourite surface.

There can't be enough superlatives to describe Bertens' excellence in Madrid, given how she decimated an extremely tough field. She got better and better as the tournament progressed, taking out Katerina Siniakova, Jelena Ostapenko and Anastasija Sevastova to make the quarter finals, before turning it on against top-ten stars and Grand Slam champions, Sloane Stephens, Petra Kvitova and Simona Halep to become the first woman to win the Madrid Open without dropping a set.

Bertens is now 9-1 on European clay this year, having also made the semi-finals in Stuttgart prior to Madrid, beating Anna-Lena Friedsam, Belinda Bencic and Angelique Kerber before losing to Kvitova.

She is one of two women to have won multiple titles this season (the other being Kvitova), adding the Madrid crown to her St. Petersburg success earlier this year. Bertens has also made semi-finals in Sydney and Stuttgart, quarter finals in Doha, and the fourth round at Indian Wells and Miami in 2019. Her Madrid title took her to a new career-high ranking of No. 4, and with nothing to defend in Rome (she lost to Maria Sakkari in the opening round last season), and just 170 points between her and third-ranked Angelique Kerber, who is not playing this week, she's got a huge opportunity to get up to No. 3 by the end of the week, and close in on the top two.

Her Roman quest begins on Thursday when she plays Anisimova.

Anisimova got into the Rome main draw via the lucky loser route, as she had fallen to Kristina Mladenovic during the qualifying rounds, but she made the most of her good fortune, beating Italian wildcard, Elisabetta Cocciaretto 6-3 6-3 in her first ever main draw match at the Italian Open.

The 17-year-old is one of the brightest young guns in the sport, as she stands on the verge of breaking into the top-50. She's got a chance to make big jump in the rankings over the next few months, as she missed the entire clay and grass-court stretch in 2018 due to injury.

A 16-year-old Anisimova had stormed on to the big stage with a fourth-round run at Indian Wells last season, beating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Petra Kvitova along the way, but her progress was cut short by foot injury sustained in her Miami opener against Qiang Wang. Anisimova went on to defeat Wang, but she subsequently withdrew from the tournament. The American did not play again until the Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose in July. Anisimova was ranked 198th at the end of July, but she didn't take long to break into top-100, achieving the feat after reaching her maiden WTA final in Hiroshima. 

She made a fine start to 2019, reaching the quarter finals in Auckland, and the fourth round at the Australian Open. There was a quiet spell after Melbourne, as she went 2-4 between Acapulco and Charleston, but she hit back in style in Bogota, claiming her first tour-level title in the Colombian capital.

Anisimova has not had as much success on the European clay, losing in the qualifying rounds in Madrid and Rome, but she got into the Rome main draw as a lucky loser, got through the first round, and now faces Bertens, one of the finest clay-court players in the women's game, for the first time in her young career.

Bertens is operating at such a high level at the moment that it's difficult to see how she doesn't win this one, especially on the slow Rome surface. The world No. 4 should take down Anisimova, and extend her winning streak to seven matches on Thursday.

Bertens vs Anisimova is live from Rome on Thursday 16 May from 10am local/9am BST

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Bertens vs Anisimova WTA Rome Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Can Bertens reproduce her Madrid form in Rome?

Madrid champion, Kiki Bertens begins her Rome bid on Thursday when she plays American young gun, Amanda Anisimova in the second round. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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