Venus Williams vs Anett Kontaveit WTA Rome tennis Preview, Predictions and Live Stream: Can Williams get her revenge after losing to Kontaveit in Madrid last week?

Leye Aduloju in WTA 17 May 2018
  • Venus Williams vs Anett Kontaveit is live from Rome on Thursday, 17 May from 2:00pm local time/ 1:00pm BST
  • Williams leads 2-1 on head-to-head, but Kontaveit's win came in Madrid just last week
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Rome at bet365 > live streaming > tennis (geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify) 
Venus Williams (Photo by FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

Venus Williams and Anett Kontaveit meet for the second straight week as they battle for a quarter final spot at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome on Thursday.

Venus Williams vs Anett Kontaveit WTA Internazionali BNL d'Italia tennis is live from Rome on Thursday, 17 May from 2:00pm local time/ 1:00pm BST 
Watch and bet on tennis live from Rome at bet365 > live streaming > tennis (geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify) 

Williams will be looking to avenge her opening round loss to Kontaveit in Madrid, as she continues her quest to end this lengthy title drought. The great American has still not won a WTA title since Kaohsiung in February 2016. While Williams would have loved to have her hands around a trophy, she will be quietly satisfied with the work she has done in the last couple of seasons. She reached two Grand Slam finals last year- Australian and Wimbledon, as well as the final of the season-ending meet in Singapore. The 37-year-old also made marquee semi-finals at the US Open and Indian Wells on her way to finishing the year ranked inside the top five for the first time since 2010. 

The seven-time Grand Slam champion took time to get going this year, failing to win a match in Sydney and the Australian Open, but she kicked into form with a semi-final at Indian Wells, where she beat sister Serena in the third round, before making the quarter finals in Miami. Venus of course, has got to pick her tournaments very carefully these days as she manages the latter part of her career, and she didn’t reappear on the tour until Madrid, where she suffered a three-set first-round loss to Kontaveit.

The American was also taken the distance in her Rome opener, but she twice recovered from a break down in the final set against Vesnina to emerge with the hard-fought win after two hours and 13 minutes. Williams dropped her opening service game of the match, but she won six in a row to take the first set. Vesnina hit back to win the second set, setting up a gripping finale to the match. Williams again dropped her opening service game in the third set, but she broke back for 3-3, only to drop her serve again at 4-4, presenting Vesnina with the chance to serve out the match. Venus however made one final push, winning the last three games of the match eke out a very difficult win.

"You just have to think it’s not over until it’s over, and I was happy to walk off court the winner, because it wasn’t an easy match," Venus said after the match.

It won’t get easier for Venus, as the 2009 champion takes on the in-form Anett Kontaveit in the third round on Thursday.


Like Venus, Kontaveit is looking to reach the quarter finals in Rome for the second straight year. 

Anett Kontaveit. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
The Estonian enjoyed a really good spell on clay last season, reaching the last eight in Stuttgart and Rome, having come through the qualifying rounds in both tournaments, and finishing second to Kiki Bertens in Gstaad. She also impressed on other surfaces, winning her first career-title on the grass courts of s-Hertogenbosch and reaching the final in Biel. A very impressive passage of results between March and July also included third-round runs in Miami and Wimbledon. Kontaveit tailed off on hard courts in the second half of the season, but she had done enough to secure a year-end ranking of 34, having begun the season outside the top 100.

Baring a fourth-round run at the Australian Open, the Estonian didn’t do much in the opening quarter of 2018, failing to win consecutive matches anywhere else outside Melbourne, including suffering opening round exits in Doha, Indian Wells and Miami. She had a shaky start on clay, losing to Vera Lapko in the first round in Lugano, but she has amassed a 7-2 record on the surface since then, reaching the semi-finals in Stuttgart; the fourth round in Madrid, and now the Round of 16 in Rome.

She started off at the Foro Italico with a 6-1 6-1 dispatch of CoCo Vandeweghe, before edging out Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5 7-5 in the second round, where she recovered from a break down before breaking very late in two very identical set.

Kontaveit might have beaten Venus Williams in Madrid, but the great American still boasts a 2-1 lead over the Estonian. Venus dismissed Kontaveit 6-2 6-1 in their first ever meeting at the 2015 US Open, but their second encounter was a lot tighter, with the American winning 7-6 7-6 at Roland Garros in 2016. Kontaveit has obviously halved Williams’ lead with that victory in Madrid.

Like in most battles between two aggressive hitters, it will come down to details such as winners-to-unforced error ratio, and first serve percentages, as that dictates the chances of either lady getting control of the points with her first-strike tennis. Having bagged a fair number of wins already on the clay this season, Kontaveit is more immersed in the surface than Venus, who only picked up her first clay-court win of the season against Vesnina in the opening round. Kontaveit has been in better form on the surface, and she did beat Venus last week. I’m going with the woman-in-form to do an encore over her legendary American opponent.

Venus Williams vs Anett Kontaveit is live from Rome on Thursday, 17 May from 2:00pm local time/ 1:00pm BST
Watch and bet on the match live at bet365 > live streaming > Venus Williams vs Anett Kontaveit (geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify) 


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Venus Williams vs Anett Kontaveit WTA Rome tennis Preview, Predictions and Live Stream: Can Williams get her revenge after losing to Kontaveit in Madrid last week?

Venus Williams and Anett Kontaveit meet in the third round of the Madrid Open on Thursday. Can Venus get her revenge over Kontaveit? Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online

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