Italian Open 2023: Tennis best bets for Rune vs. Djokovic, Rybakina vs. Swiatek - Wednesday, May 17th

By Zachary Cohen  ( 

May 16, 2023 03:35 PM

Tennis best bets for the Italian Open - Wednesday, May 17th

The Italian Open, also known as Internazionali BNL d'Italia, is a 1000-level clay-court tournament for both the men and the women. This is one of the most exciting tournaments of the entire year, and we'll have best bets for it on a daily basis. With that in mind, keep reading for our tennis best bets for Wednesday, May 17th. Also, make sure you actively check out our Pro Picks page, as we have been posting plays there regularly throughout the year. We ended up having a very profitable two weeks in Madrid, with a lot of the winners being posted to that page. And this tournament has already been very kind go to us. 

MORE: Check out our Pro Picks page for everything our experts have

Holger Rune vs. Novak Djokovic

Rune beat Djokovic in Paris last year, when the teenager won his first ever Masters 1000 event. So, Rune has already proven that he is capable of beating the 22-time Grand Slam champion, and it’s hard not to like his chances of putting a scare into Djokovic here. While Rune has been consistently playing throughout the course of the clay-court season — and winning — things have been starting and stopping rather often for Djokovic. That has made it hard for the Serbian to find a rhythm, which led to lackluster performances against guys like Tomas Martin Etcheverry and Grigor Dimitrov. And the reality here is that Rune is a massive step up from both of them.

Rune has the type of all-around game to not get pushed around by Djokovic. He’s good from both the forehand and backhand sides, and he holds serve at around 85.0% while also getting into his opponent’s serve regularly. On top of that, Rune has the mental strength to go out there and not be intimidated by having a legend on the other side of the net. Rune is a bit of a headcase, but it almost works in his favor. In many ways, he resembles Djokovic. Both can channel the negative energy of a crowd and use it to their advantage.

I’m not saying Rune is going to go out and beat Djokovic here. After all, Rome has been Djokovic’s tournament in the past. But winning a set definitely seems like a strong possibility — especially considering the Serbian can occasionally tank sets just to get his own blood boiling. And I wouldn’t blame anybody for sprinkling a little on Rune on the moneyline.

Bet: Rune +1.5 Sets (-110)

Elena Rybakina vs. Iga Swiatek

Rybakina has won each of her last three matches against Swiatek, with one of those victories coming on the slow courts of Indian Wells. That’s as close as you can get to a clay-court win without playing on clay, so it’s a little hard not to like Rybakina to make this match respectable. Of course, Swiatek does have a 56-8 record on clay at the WTA level, and she’s now healthy after having been banged up at Indian Wells. But the total games prop for Rybakina still feels somewhat disrespectful here.

Rybakina has looked great in Rome thus far, and she is going to feel confident in her ability to win at least eight games here. Her power and ability to serve has given Swiatek trouble in the past, and it really shouldn’t shock anybody if we see a tiebreaker in this match. With that in mind, it’d be easy for Rybakina to come away with eight games.

Is Swiatek more likely to win this match? Definitely. But Rybakina is the third-best player in the world and she has the ability to make this close.

Bet: Rybakina Over 7.5 Games Won (-105)

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