The Hologic WTA Tour heads to the Eternal City next week for the fifth WTA 1000 event of the season. World No.1 and two-time defending champion Iga Swiatek and No.2 Aryna Sabalenka lead an expanded field at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia for a revised edition of Rome, which will now be played over two weeks.
With Roland Garros three weeks away, which players will add their names to the list of contenders for the second Slam of the season?
Here's what you need to know about Rome:
When does the tournament start?
The Internazionali BNL d'Italia is the final WTA 1000 before the French Open, which begins on Sunday, May 28. This year, Rome will expand to a 96-player singles draw and 32-team doubles draw played across 12 days.
The tournament, long known as the "Italian Open," is played on outdoor red clay at the Foro Italico. The Dunlop Fort Clay Court ball will be used.
Main-draw play begins on Tuesday, May 9.
When are the finals?
Both singles and doubles finals will be played on Saturday, May 20. The singles final will be played at 7 p.m., with the doubles final to follow.
Who are the Top 16 seeds?
1. Iga Swiatek
2. Aryna Sabalenka
3. Jessica Pegula
4. Ons Jabeur
5. Caroline Garcia
6. Coco Gauff
7. Elena Rybakina
8. Daria Kasatkina
9. Maria Sakkari
10. Barbora Krejcikova
11. Veronika Kudermetova
12. Beatriz Haddad Maia
13. Liudmila Samsonova
14. Victoria Azarenka
15. Ekaterina Alexandrova
16. Liudmila Samsonova
No.10 Petra Kvitova, No.11 Belinda Bencic and No.15 Karolina Pliskova have withdrawn due to injuries.
Who are the defending champions?
World No.1 Iga Swiatek successfully defended her title last year, defeating Ons Jabeur 6-2, 6-2 in the final. She carried that momentum into Roland Garros to win her second title in Paris.
In doubles, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Veronika Kudermetova defeated Gabriela Dabrowski and Giuliana Olmos 1-6, 6-4, [10-7] to take the title.
When is the draw?
Main draw singles @InteBNLdItalia, which features a 96-player field this year, played across 12 days.— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) May 7, 2023
Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka, Jessica Pegula, and Ons Jabeur are the Top 4 seeds.
Main draw begins on Tuesday. pic.twitter.com/eobJ4Pw7GR
What is the prize-money and ranking points?
First round: €7,828/10 points
Second round: €12,652/35 points
Third round: €22,700/65 points
Round of 16: €39,130/120 points
Quarterfinals: €73,930/215 points
Semifinal: €143,490/390 points
Finalist: €272,200/650 points
Champion: €521,754/1000 points
Swiatek goes for the three-peat: Swiatek has picked up where she left on the clay this season. She is 9-1 on clay this season after winning Stuttgart and making her first Madrid final. In Rome, the 21-year-old is bidding to become the first player to win three consecutive Rome titles since Conchita Martinez's four-year dominance from 1993-1996. In total, only two players have swept Rome in three consecutive years: Chris Evert and Martinez.
Sabalenka riding high: After beating Swiatek to win her second Madrid title, the World No.2 is shoring up her clay-court resume. She's had some success on Rome's slower, more traditional clay-court conditions, having made the semifinals last year and losing to Swiatek.
Jabeur battling injury woes: A finalist in Rome last year, No.3 Jabeur is racing the clock to be ready for Rome and Roland Garros. Her perfect start to the clay season, including a title in Charleston, ended abruptly in Stuttgart when she tore her calf against Swiatek in the semifinals. That injury prevented her from defending her title in Madrid.
Rybakina and Krejcikova look to get back on track: They were two of the standout players during the hard-court season and have proven themselves as legitimate threats on clay, with Krejcikova winning Roland Garros in 2021. But both have struggled to get traction on clay so far this season. Rybakina carries a 1-2 record on clay into Rome, while Krejcikova is 3-2.