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Women’s draw throws up mouth-watering encounters

This content was published 6 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali d’Italia.

Victoria Azarenka versus Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova against Johanna Konta are just two of the exciting first round matches scheduled to take place at this year’s Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

The fun doesn’t end there either as the winner of the Azarenka-Osaka clash will face world No. 1 Simona Halep in the second round in yet another enticing affair.

The Romanian, who receives a bye in the first round, has been drawn in the same quarter as France’s Caroline Garcia, and the same half as Wimbledon winner Garbine Muguruza and Jelena Ostapenko, who defeated her in the final at Roland Garros last year.

Italy’s Sara Errani, Camilla Rosatello and Francesca Schiavone also feature in this half and open their campaigns against Timea Babos, a qualifier, and Dominika Cibulkova respectively.

This side of the draw also boasts first round clashes between Maria Sharapova and Ashleigh Barty, and US Open champion Sloane Stephens, the No. 9 seed, and Barbora Strycova.

Over in the other half of the draw, Germany’s Angelique Kerber faces a tricky opener versus Ekaterina Makarova, while reigning champion Elina Svitolina will play her first match against either Petra Martic or Lesia Tsurenko and is projected to meet Karolina Pliskova in the quarterfinals.

No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki and No. 8 Venus Williams, the 1999 champion, are the highest seeds in the bottom quarter of this side of the draw, a section which features crowd favourite Roberta Vinci, who is set to retire this week. The Italian will be hopeful of a good run in her final tournament and the draw was kind in giving her a qualifier in her first round match.

The draw took place on Court Pietrangeli on Friday evening in front of Nicola Pietrangeli himself, Rosatello, Catherine “CiCi” Bellis, Kei Nishikori and Marco Cecchinato.

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