ROME -- It's a rip-roaring slate of quarterfinals on Wednesday at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, led by the big-hitting showdown between World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka and No.10 Jelena Ostapenko. 

Rome 2024: Scores | Schedule | Draws

Sabalenka and Ostapenko have endured tough, physical battles to book their quarterfinal spots. Sabalenka was a point away -- three times! -- from crashing out in the last round. 

On the other hand, 13th seed Danielle Collins has barely lost games in her march to the last eight. Her opponent, former No.1 Victoria Azarenka rolled past 5th seed Maria Sakkari for her first Top 10 win on clay in nearly four years.

Here's a breakdown of Wednesday's matches, and don't forget, sign up for free and submit your predictions now

[24] Victoria Azarenka vs. [13] Danielle Collins

Head-to-head: Tied 1-1

Collins continues to be a one-woman wrecking crew through yet another draw. Can Azarenka stop the American?

"I wanted to play her," Azarenka said. "She's been playing incredible, just rolling through people, consistently winning on hard and clay. I love the challenge. It's going to be tough. We've had a few battles before already so I'm definitely going to prepare that."

Collins has lost just 13 games to make her fifth quarterfinal season and first in Rome. She's now won 18 of her last 19 matches and the only player who managed to stop her during that span was World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka. Already a champion in Miami and Charleston, Collins has translated her power game perfectly to the clay. 

"I think my physicality and where I'm at mentally right now," Collins said, "I'm just really dialed into my tactics and what I need to do against each opponent. I think I'm playing really smart tennis right now."

And, as she's set to retire at the end of the season, Collins is savoring her last work trip to the Eternal City. 

"I like trying different restaurants so we've been having fun trying different things. The shopping is great, beautiful parks, little botanical gardens, just walking around and really taking in the city, especially since it's my last time here."

Azarenka opened her tournament with two steely three-set wins over Magda Linette and Mayar Sherif. Then, facing 5th seed Maria Sakkari, she rolled. She won 6-4, 6-1 to tally her third Top 10 win of the year and first on clay in nearly four years.

But let's not discount Azarenka's clay-court bona fides. This is her seventh Rome quarterfinal, having made her first in 2009. She was a finalist in 2013 and a two-time finalist in Madrid as well. She's also made the final four at Roland Garros.

Watch This: Collins' craft outduels Garcia's behind-the-back magic in Rome

Azarenka loves where her tennis is trending at the moment. 

"It's important to have as many matches as possible," said Azarenka, "to continue to develop and problem-solve. Since I'm trying to build my game and focus more on myself rather than the opponent, I think it's important to stick to what I've been working on, be a little bit more stubborn to continue to develop.

"Because I can practice all I want, but I have to do these things in matches to gain confidence and self-assurance that these are the right things. I think I'm getting through the matches like that, it just has to be more consistent."

[10] Jelena Ostapenko vs. [2] Aryna Sabalenka

Head-to-head: Sabalenka leads 2-0

To make her fourth Rome quarterfinal, Ostapenko has come through back-to-back grueling three-set rollercoasters, beating Sara Sorribes Tormo and qualifier Rebecca Sramkova. She needed a third-set tiebreak to in the latter. 

Ostapenko edges Sramkova in third-set tiebreak in Rome

Sabalenka has spent her fair share of time on the court as well, and she even one-upped Ostapenko in the drama department in the Round of 16. Sabalenka came from a set and a break down and saved three match points to edge out two-time champion Elina Svitolina in a late-night thriller. That came two rounds after she had to come from a set down to beat Katie Volynets in her opener. 

So the question is: are Ostapenko and Sabalenka battle-weary or battle-tested? 


Physical resilience has never been a question for Ostapenko. All you have to do is look back at her 2017 French Open run, where she ran through four consecutive three-set matches to win the title. 

In contrast, there was a concerning medical timeout for Sabalenka during her match against Svitolina. After winning the second set, she called for the physios and received treatment for her lower back and hip area. We'll see how she pulls up after a day of rest, but the good news is Sabalenka was back on site in the early afternoon on Wednesday and appeared in good spirits. 

It will be power against power when Sabalenka and Ostapenko face off for the third time in their careers but first on clay. It's been over a year since they played last, with Sabalenka winning in three sets in Dubai 2023. 

Watch this: Sabalenka's three match-point saves in Svitolina thriller in Rome