Some graphs to have a quick look at the picks for the final and title:
Top Half finalist picks
Madrid runner-up Simona Halep establishes herself as a strong favorite to reach the final from this half, aided by her track in Rome (2017 and 2018 runner-up). Serena Williams (not having lost a match in Rome since her loss to Empress JJ in 2010) and Sloane Stephens (Madrid semifinalist and runner-up at last year's FO) are the next most popular picks to reach the final. Madrid winner Kiki Bertens comes in fourth place. There are eight different picks in total, including Wang (who has already lost ) and Vondrousova (in what could be the biggest final of her career so far).
Bottom Half finalist picks
There are ten different picks for this half, with no overwhelming favorite to reach the final. The most popular pick is Petra Kvitova, who has never gone beyond the QF stage in Rome but started a strong campaign in clay by winning the title in Stuttgart. The second most popular choice is defending champion Elina Svitolina, whose track in Rome is strong but had a slow start on clay by losing in R1 in Madrid (it didn't hurt her in 2017 but this year she's coming back from injury) and may face a tricky first match against former finalist Victoria Azarenka. This year's new top player Ashleigh Barty, perennial in-the-mix player Karolina Pliskova, former FO champ Garbiñe Muguruza and Anett Kontaveit (strong Rome track) are among the popular choices, too. That Errani pick didn't age gracefully, though.
Halep is once again the overwhelming favorite. There are other 12 picks for the title, with Serena Williams being a popular one (no one has chosen her to be the runner-up). Some players are tipping on seeing Belinda Bencic, Naomi Osaka or Aryna Sabalenka win their biggest title on clay
Congratulations to those who picked Cibulkova, Siniakova and Venus to reach R2 because those were the upsets of the day.
Begu (16) v. Kasatkina (43)
Collins (31) v. Wozniacki (28)
Sabalenka (47) v. Cornet (12)
Sakkari (26) v. Pavlyuchenkova (31)
Yastremska (29) v. Suarez Navarro (30)
Bencic (48) v. Sevastova (11)
Hsieh (36) v. Goerges (23)
Vondrousova (53) v. Strycova (5)
Barty (58) v. Kuzmova (0)
Buzarnescu (10) v. Ostapenko (49)
Garcia (41) v. Mladenovic (18)
Tomljanovic (4) v. Ka. Pliskova (54)
Svitolina (28) v. Azarenka (31)
Multiple hard-to-predict matches This can go anywhere - we'll have a Venus-Mertens type of day
Day 2 update:
is leading! Picking Venus to reach R3 was a gutsy move that paid off (witala92 also saw success with such pick).
Path to the final
Anisimova (just CertiF!) v. Bertens (58)
Cornet (3) v. Suarez Navarro (16)
Keys (41) v. Kenin (11)
Konta (10) v. Stephens (49)
Muguruza (43) v. Collins (5)
Halep (53) v. Vondrousova (5)
Kasatkina (19) v. Siniakova (13)
Mladenovic (11) v. Bencic (29) *BATTLE OF FORMER BFFS so POPCORN MATCH OF THE DAY*
Osaka (56) v. Cibulkova (3)
Putintseva (2) v. Kvitova (57)
Buzarnescu (just ace the line!) v. Goerges (9)
Kontaveit (50) v. Sakkari (7)
The results of Rome's marathonic sessions were... quite... something.
has taken the lead but (as with most players) also lost both finalists so the game is still very much open.
Path to the final
Congratulations to those who picked Konta to reach the QF (AdeyC and CertiF) because that was the most outstanding pick of the day along with ace the line picking Buzarnescu to reach R3. Also must be named those who picked Vondrousova to beat Halep once again (happydayhk, ThomieK -only player to get more than half of the quarterfinalists right-, Demosthenes, come on lena and Poltergeist) because that was the result that made most draws collapse. Nobody trusted Sakkari to reach the QFs but once I saw she upset Kontaveit, I knew she would beat Petra
Osaka (14) v. Bertens (37)
Vondrousova (just happydayhk!) v. Konta (0)
Azarenka (9) v. KaPlis (22)
Mladenovic (2) v. Sakkari (0)
Re: FITD Rome - witala92 vs. Demosthenes for the title!
Day 5 update:
Path to the final
Bertens v. Sakkari final and/or Bertens wins Rome (& Madrid *read this with Serena's voice in your mind*) →
takes the title
Any other scenario (including Pliskova taking the title) →
Bertens (5) v. Konta (0)
KaPlis (7) v. Sakkari (0) v. Chair umpires in Rome (there's one)